Designing Nature


Session Title:

  • Performance (Papers)

Presentation Title:

  • Designing Nature



  • The paper focuses on the shifting relation between two aspects: technologically enhanced human and technologically enhanced environment.The author is concerned with the currents of human biological evolution as such notion relates to self‑conducted design alternatives for the human body, which often no longer follow survival as its primary guide, but are motivated by different aims. Similar development is apparent in nature that is under anthropogenic impact, and in our close environment where the divide between technological, artificially‑built environment and biological environment is disappearing. Richard Dawkins has claimed: ‘The world is divided into things that look designed like birds and airliners and things that don’t; rocks and mountains. Things that look designed are divided to those that really are designed; submarines and tin openers, and those that aren’t designed but look that way because they result from Darwinian natural selection; sharks and hedgehogs.’ (Dawkins 2013) One could add to this list of Dawkin’s: things that used not to be designed, such as biological nature, but which today are increasingly designed by humans. A new kind of relationship between an enhanced human and an enhanced environment is emerging. The author’s on‑going research and artistic works presented in this paper speculate specifically on the reciprocal relationship between human and her habitat. The paper includes three recent works by the author, including a work in‑progress; a wearable bioreactor. These works speculate and reference Gregory Bateson’s argument that organism + environment is the unit of survival (Bateson 1969).