This third volume of Naturally Hypernatural explores contemporary concepts of landscape in the humanities and the arts in relation to the notion that our age is defined by a ‘geology of the human’ and that this reckoning constitutes a new epoch, aptly named the anthropocene.
The thesis of this volume – that there is no homogeneous concept of landscape, just as there is no uniform definition of nature or culture – was developed concurrently at a conference at the University of Graz and at a series of exhibitions centered on film, painting and photography at the Kunsthaus Graz. This thesis has been fortified by registering the simultaneity of land art, the ecological movement and the view of the earth from space.
Art since the modern period reveals how divergent ideas of landscape are intertwined with differently chanted conceptions of subjectivity, perception and space.
Tree-Ness. Roxy Paine’s altered States of Art and Nature
Tree-NessRoxy Paine’s altered States of Art and Nature
In his contribution to dOCUMENTA (13), the philosopher Graham Harman published a small text concerned with Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington’s famous parable of the “two tables”.1 Eddington’s interest in the construction of the parable are the discussion of problems of world perception and the reality of things. Harman takes up Eddington’s image to suggest a further table, a ‘Third Table’. This appears as a thoughtful and convincing approach for avoiding the both strenuous and unproductive pathway of opposing to one another the humanities and arts on the one hand, and the natural sciences on the other. Harman’s Third Table is art; yet, the modalities and reasons of why this would be the case are not fully laid open.2 What is of interest to me in terms of Harman’s Third Table is his proposition of an ‘object-oriented philosophy’, from the vantage point of which he formulates principles relevant for our purposes. These are the following:
‘objects are deeper than their appearance to the human mind but also deeper than their relation to one another, so that all contact between objects must be indirect or “vicarious” and “objects” are polarized in two ways: there is a distinction between objects and their quali ← 133 | 134 → ties, and a distinction between real objects withdrawn from all access and sensual objects that exist only for some observers, whether human or inhuman.3
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