Nature Art Art-Nature MAN

Exploring the Work of Reiner Maria Matysik

Marc Wras­se

It is clear that the revo­ca­ti­on of ali­en­ati­on always hap­pens by ali­en­ati­on as a domi­nant force, self con­fi­dence in Ger­ma­ny, equa­li­ty in France, prac­ti­cal needs in Gre­at Bri­tain. — Karl Marx

Tre­men­dous is life. Tre­men­dous is its diver­si­ty, its wealth on inven­ti­ons, the com­ple­xi­ty and the will to self-asser­ti­on of its forms. Tre­men­dous is its long win­ding path through time. Tre­men­dous also is its moral qua­li­ty. Becau­se, as oppo­sed to the silent joy, wan­ting to just be and to per­cei­ve, life its­elf is not a good one.

Tre­men­dous also the know­ledge: What keeps us ali­ve is also con­flic­ting its­elf. Life its­elf does not care about its diver­si­ty of shapes and appearan­ces. Sun, the life-less con­di­ti­on of mun­da­ne life, shi­nes upon good as well as evil. So the evil can live also. No human life wit­hout know­ledge about this nega­ti­vi­ty: Other life is threa­ten­ed. Vio­lence is sui­ting the con­text of any life; and while the­re is no sin­gle one wit­hout the other, it always also has been the other which beco­mes a dan­ger to the indi­vi­du­al. Ali­en­ati­on, as it seems, is part of life its­elf, the­r­e­fo­re with the joy it also is crea­ting sus­pi­ci­on, this cer­tain­ly can­not be denied. As oppo­sed to what the Mar­xist hope sug­gests, it is not pri­ma­ri­ly a wron­gly set-up socie­ty which muti­la­tes indi­vi­du­al things and stops them in their deve­lo­p­ment, but the con­text of life which can only sus­tain by extin­gu­is­hing others.

Bibli­cal texts alre­a­dy, sha­ping Euro­pean civi­liza­ti­on for over two mil­len­nia, a book which beg­ins with two sto­ries about crea­ti­on, ear­ly on is poin­ting out this awk­ward dif­fe­rence: Man enters the cir­cle of crea­ti­on in the first sto­ry, in the second, crea­ti­on per se is not the para­di­se, but only the gar­den which God is plan­ting “in Eden towards the East” and which he asks man to farm and to keep in shape. Deve­lo­ping life just as part of “what is”; and as we can read in the sto­ry which fol­lows, about the sin, life its­elf is quick­ly pro­ving as a pro­blem and not only from what it is dif­fe­rent from. 

And the­re is talk about two forms of crea­ti­on in the begin­ning of the bible, bibli­cal reli­gi­on is sepa­ra­ting into two cul­tures two mil­len­nia ago: The rab­bi­nic Juda­ism is sha­ping its idea to crea­te a fence around the torah with the Tal­mud to upkeep and to farm like a fen­ced-in gar­den. Chris­tia­ni­ty is beco­ming the reli­gious jus­ti­fi­ca­ti­on of glo­bal assault with its tri­um­phal pro­ces­si­on throug­hout the cen­tu­ries, with its roman impe­ri­al, later in the renais­sance and its con­quests. The vio­lent aspect, which has its ori­gin in the will to sur­vi­ve within each indi­vi­du­al, is unfol­ding into a civi­li­zed tota­li­ta­ri­an ideo­lo­gy. It is this heri­ta­ge, which, up to today, is part of the mis­sio­na­ry impul­se of wes­tern civi­liza­ti­ons with its belief that others, like the noma­dic tri­bes of Afri­ca or Indi­an cul­tures in South Ame­ri­ca, would need to be brought to the same level of civilization.

Human per­cep­ti­on is crea­ting sto­ries to com­pen­sa­te for the con­flict of life’s power and the ina­bi­li­ty of the indi­vi­du­al. Cul­tu­re and tra­di­ti­on are forming a net­work with which the self-con­ser­va­ti­on of spe­ci­es is sup­po­sed to be per­ma­nent­ly orga­ni­zed and sup­po­sed to be libe­ra­ted from the vicis­si­tu­des of life. Using lan­guage and wri­tin­gs, the silent vio­lence of evo­lu­tio­na­ry deve­lo­p­ment is being inter­pre­ted and the power of life is made our ser­vant. Loo­king at all cul­tures, the Euro­pean cul­tu­re was cle­ar­ly the most obvious one in forming an idea of the uni­que value of indi­vi­du­al life. In this new era, the revo­ca­ti­on of ali­en­ati­on with its ori­gin in the con­flic­ting facts of life is sup­po­sed to be achie­ved by using sci­ence which puts natu­re and histo­ry in a posi­ti­on so that all nega­ti­vi­ty is dis­ap­pearing. Cul­tu­re, coming from the wealth of signs and its abili­ties to crea­te infi­ni­ties in a self-refe­ren­ti­al way has a pro­gram­ma­tic will to over­co­me rand­om­ness and limits. Life, having beco­me con­scious in the spi­rit, is see­ing its­elf as some­thing abso­lu­te in modern times Euro­pe. As seen befo­re: No cul­tu­re wit­hout the phan­tasms of eter­ni­ty. What was attri­bu­ted to God in cen­tu­ries of theo­lo­gi­cal reflec­tion – abso­lu­ten­ess, omni­po­tence, omni­sci­ence, the phi­lo­so­phi­cal defi­ned con­sci­ence of man is now dis­co­ve­ring as a pur­po­se for sys­te­ma­ti­cal­ly deve­lo­ped spi­ri­tua­li­ty. Delu­si­on, so we can read in a cen­tral book of the 20th cen­tu­ry, is the shadow of knowledge.

The reli­gious uto­pia of the eter­nal life, which is not­hing else than the wish of each sin­gle living being for eter­ni­ty, it is being tack­led in a tech­no­lo­gi­cal way in this con­tem­po­ra­ry pro­ject of gene­tic domi­nan­ce over age and death. In rea­li­ty, life not only is con­flic­ting its­elf in its bio­lo­gi­cal ori­g­ins, but also within its reflec­tions as a spi­ri­tu­al one. The bare varie­ty of spe­ci­es is neither good, nor any cul­tu­re as a who­le: each, which we know, is car­ry­ing vio­lence in its deeps against who­se omni­po­tence it was crea­ted, and none of them is unfol­ding its omni­po­tence wit­hout phan­tas­ma­go­rias. At pre­sent, the balan­ce of forces is chal­len­ged on a glo­bal level for the first time. Sin­ce the 18th cen­tu­ry in Euro­pe, while crea­ti­on of the world was deba­ted for the best of all socie­ties: aris­to­cra­tic or bour­geois, mon­ar­chic or par­lia­men­ta­ry, capi­ta­li­stic or socia­li­stic, while, not that long ago, poli­tics was deci­ding over people’s hap­pi­ness or mise­ry; now depen­den­cy on sta­bi­li­ty of the eco-sys­tem on earth are what histo­ry and sur­viva­bi­li­ty of the dif­fe­rent cul­tures have to mea­su­re against. Natu­ral cycles are not so powerful any­mo­re they can be trus­ted upon as infi­ni­te resour­ces. Mar­ket eco­no­my as a glo­bal­ly estab­lished form of eco­no­my is pos­si­ble in a vast varie­ty of socie­ties which have to get by with each other, loo­king at ques­ti­ons which are not just social ones any­mo­re. Into which social form a civi­liza­ti­on is deve­lo­ping is pri­ma­ri­ly depen­ding on its abili­ty to rege­ne­ra­te its­elf: In the age of the revo­lu­ti­on it was man’s will and mobi­liza­ti­on of his dreams which shaped dyna­mics of histo­ry. In the coming era it will all be about to find a balan­ce with that which can­not be outra­ged and which does not have dreams. Future seems only thinkable now as a dia­lo­gue with a silent nature.

The fol­lo­wing essay tri­es to appre­hend the work of Rei­ner Maria Maty­sik, based on this back­ground. For the deter­mi­na­ti­on of the con­nec­tions, in which natu­re and cul­tu­re stand for the deve­lo­p­ment of human life forms, the thin­king how each is reflec­ted within the other might be hel­pful. Their ter­ti­um com­pa­ra­tio­nis is sha­ping the rela­ti­onship which they deve­lop into vio­lence insi­de their own sphe­re, which stands as the one of their oppon­ents – be it in regards to human needs for pro­tec­tion from the mer­ci­less cycles of natu­re, or be it the needs for pro­tec­tion by eco­no­mic con­texts against an exor­bi­tant influence of tech­no­lo­gy and civi­liza­ti­on by phan­ta­sies brought to life by man. The terms natu­re, art, socie­ty are being encir­cled to get an idea about the con­stel­la­ti­on in which the artist’s objects unfold as “pro­to­ty­pes of post-evo­lu­tio­na­ry life forms”. It is the attempt to make rea­da­ble the signs of a new hea­ven on a new earth, to draft the back­ground our histo­ry in the future will be play­ed out against. Howe­ver, it would be wise to be careful with a state­ment that this would be an all-or-not­hing situa­ti­on: Future or end, it is still about whe­ther what we have been in the past, humans, still able to reco­gni­ze our­sel­ves in the things to come. In other words, is the future the same as its past has drea­med of: What were tho­se dreams made of?


The word natu­re desi­gna­tes a con­text as a who­le. Whoe­ver is tal­king about natu­re, he means it more in gene­ral and regar­ding its cha­rac­te­ri­zing force he is tal­king about spe­ci­fics. Natu­re is for­cing Adap­ti­on. First, it appears dual shaped: On one hand its noti­on stands for “the world which sur­rounds us with its chan­ges by rule and as a who­le, name­ly as far as it still stands unch­an­ged against man’s influence, hence also used as oppo­sed to cul­tu­re or art”. On the other hand, natu­re is – also – what we are. The­r­e­fo­re our very own inner natu­re plays a part in deter­mi­ning of what we think as natu­re, its non sub­jec­ti­ve defi­ni­ti­on the­r­e­fo­re see­ming difficult.

See­ing natu­re from the distance, as an object, natu­re is also inte­res­t­ing when it is media­ted with what seems to oppo­se its un-chan­geable rules: With histo­ry. The histo­ry of earth, the histo­ry of a land­scape, the deve­lo­p­ment of human natu­re or of natu­re sci­en­ces are per­spec­ti­ves in which natu­re does not appear as the oppo­si­te of cul­tu­re, but as an area with an open objec­ti­ve­ness: The laws of natu­re do not chan­ge, but natu­re, as a pro­cess, has a future.

Ever sin­ce Darwin’s works On the Ori­gin of Spe­ci­es, histo­ry, which natu­re is sha­ping, can­not be thought any­mo­re with rela­ti­onship to some­thing which is out­side of natu­re and sket­ches out its deve­lo­p­ment, as for exam­p­le a far-out divi­ne reaso­ning. Fur­ther­mo­re, it beco­mes more and more clear that, as oppo­sed to Darwin’s teleo­lo­gi­cal view of the sur­vi­val of the fit­test, in bio­lo­gi­cal evo­lu­ti­on dyna­mics, as writ­ten by laws of natu­re, are forming rela­ti­onships with his­to­ric con­tin­gen­cy – to think about natu­re as a sys­tem would still be dar­wi­ni­stic, but see­ing its future as being open and unde­ter­mi­ned in the same way as civi­liza­ti­on would be an insight which is only pos­si­ble using advance­ments in micro­phy­si­cal and mole­cu­lar gene­tics whe­re spon­ta­neous chan­ges have the same weight as phy­si­cal pre­dic­ta­ble reac­tions. After all, God is rol­ling dice. Even so, the eras on this earth, the histo­ry of living natu­re, have been essen­ti­al­ly cha­rac­te­ri­zed in its suc­ces­si­on and dyna­mics by ran­dom cata­stro­phes of a cos­mic and ter­restri­al “natu­re”.

The clo­ser we get to tho­se secrets of natu­re, the more simi­lar to us it beco­mes. What was con­side­red natu­re has tra­di­tio­nal­ly been unders­tood bey­ond deli­mi­ta­ti­ons to cul­tu­re. Natu­re gai­ned shape and was out­lined by what it was oppo­sed to. Laws of natu­re, and with it deve­lo­p­ment of natu­re its­elf, in its nobi­li­ty, see­med unch­an­geable as oppo­sed to are­as habi­ta­ted by man and his rules. Natu­re has always been, while the crea­ted things had their faith deci­ded by man, cer­tain­ly not always fol­lo­wing that path, as shows the histo­ry of tech­no­lo­gy gone wrong. The exter­nal natu­re, first draf­ted by the renais­sance as a com­plex mecha­nism, was dif­fe­rent from the inner and crea­ti­ve natu­re, natu­ra natur­ans, soul, which has been sepa­ra­ted by natu­ra­lism with the car­te­sic dua­lism res cogi­tans / res exten­sa, and which flows into the phi­lo­so­phy of the Euro­pean bour­geoi­sies using the idea of liber­ty, beco­ming a con­cept of con­sci­ence and intellect as a mir­ror image of natu­re: Mere­ly oppo­sed to it. In modern times, the cal­ling upon the rights of natu­re at the same time beco­mes a point of cri­ti­cism against the tra­di­tio­nal theo­lo­gi­cal jus­ti­fi­ca­ti­on of Euro­pean socie­ty; insi­de the socie­ty, ever sin­ce first men­tio­ned by Rous­se­au, terms like unna­tu­ral, arti­fi­ci­al, ali­en­ated are being used to cri­ti­ci­ze civi­liza­ti­on in refe­rence to natu­re. In this thin­king about natu­re it was always rather about how natu­re appeared to man ins­tead of what it real­ly was from an objec­ti­ve point of view. 

All tra­di­tio­nal per­spec­ti­ves in regards to natu­re beco­me ques­tionable, as was ela­bo­ra­ted by G.Böhme, whe­re the deli­mi­ta­ti­ons which they are based on are not plau­si­ble any­mo­re. Mean­while, it is obvious that cul­tu­re does not exist on an island on a sea of natu­re, but ever sin­ce and always of glo­bal natu­re, inter­nal or exter­nal, is actual­ly sha­ping it. Vice ver­sa, cul­tu­re is pro­ving its­elf as ele­men­ta­ry shaped by the natu­ral basics of its repro­duc­tion. Its orga­niza­ti­on as human work on and with natu­re is what is giving socio­lo­gi­cal rules its varia­ble forms. Natu­re sci­en­ces, which are rese­ar­ching inter­ac­tions in natu­re, fol­lo­wing its spe­cia­liza­ti­on is now explai­ning excerp­ts of natu­re, not natu­re as a who­le. In alli­ance with tech­no­lo­gi­cal com­pe­ten­cy they not any­mo­re stri­ve to reco­gni­ze “the being” of natu­re but ins­tead is pro­bing its poten­ti­al: hence, with the sci­en­ti­fic shift in para­digms natu­re seems dif­fe­rent which is not dif­fe­rent per se, but is just pre­sen­ted in a dif­fe­rent way by varia­ble optics of appa­ra­tu­s­es. The fra­gi­le eco­sys­tem Earth in the big pic­tu­re, and our own opaque life spe­ci­fi­cal­ly can­not be domi­na­ted in such an objec­ti­ve way as sug­gested by the big suc­cess of natu­re sci­en­ces, and this is shown by the need for alter­na­ti­ves in tech­no­lo­gy and medicine

Histo­ry of psy­cho­lo­gy and the histo­ry of the theo­ry of cogni­ti­on cle­ar­ly show that spi­rit and intellect, as well as their metho­di­cal objec­ti­vism as sci­ence are bare­ly unders­tood and in its more gene­ral, i.e. socio­lo­gi­cal con­text they are not unders­tood at all if they are seen apart from the natu­re of its car­ri­er: man. In the same way, in a con­text of natu­re spe­cu­la­ti­ons up to the phi­lo­so­phy of Ernst Bloch, it always has been known that the uto­pian hori­zon of man, his open­ness in regards to future, is not­hing purely intellec­tu­al but has a mate­ri­al base in the playful move­ments of natu­ral impul­ses, be it in expe­ri­ments of evo­lu­ti­on or be it in the varie­ty of sexu­al prac­ti­ces. Natu­re as “the given”, has beco­me its­elf; teleo­lo­gy, which seems dedi­ca­ted to its evo­lu­ti­on, in rea­li­ty, is rather shaped by ide­as which point to theo­lo­gy, onto­lo­gy and meta­phy­sics: con­cepts of human ima­gi­na­ti­on. Natu­re is more open, more deter­mi­ned by rand­om­ness and varia­ti­on as oppo­sed to sug­ges­ti­ons from sys­tem theo­re­tic drafts about pur­po­se and functionality.

A quick glan­ce alre­a­dy shows that with all the tal­king about natu­re it is real­ly us being the sub­ject, be it as indi­vi­du­als or humans as a who­le. Natu­re is play­ing a role the­re as sub­ject of domi­nan­ce becau­se of its instru­men­tal han­di­ness, as well as a resour­ce of joy. Its impli­cit­ness is the alter­na­ti­ve wit­hout the alter­na­ti­ve to the exis­tence of socio­lo­gi­cal demands. In everyday’s sleep alre­a­dy which is given to us by natu­re we can expe­ri­ence a peri­odi­cal­ly occur­ring distance which is nee­ded by man to even beco­me man, after he was able to rest and reco­ver from encoun­ters with hims­elf and his equ­als in nature.

Natu­ral exch­an­ge, meta­bo­lism, breathing are the most simp­le forms of “to be”. We do not need to bother about the con­flict as which the cycles of life as a who­le are brought to our awa­re­ness when it comes to the trus­ty bea­ting of the heart, accom­mo­da­ted by the joy of the indi­vi­du­al to just be ali­ve. Plants and ani­mals don’t know about doom, the fact that natu­re con­sists of life and death: They just are, alt­hough threa­ten­ed and always just tem­po­ra­ry. Defen­ding the dark uncon­scious life is forming the base for each good life: This is why natu­re needs atten­ti­on paid to. As long as we have bodies and do not only move across screens in two dimen­sio­nal worlds, natu­re will always be a fac­tor with our view of hap­pi­ness based upon.

But whe­re natu­re is not sui­ta­ble as an onto­lo­gi­cal quan­ti­ty any­mo­re becau­se its con­cept beco­mes fuz­zy in the same way as it is inter­fu­sed by civil inte­rests, its shape will appear per­spec­tively: in regards to an argu­men­ta­ti­ve jus­ti­fi­ca­ti­on of this or that dif­fe­ren­tia­ti­on. Dis­cour­ses deci­de what natu­re is: within lan­guage and cul­tures a rela­ti­onship to natu­re is seen as rela­ti­ve. Its­elf, it is the con­tex­tu­al rela­ti­onship of all things sha­ping the indi­vi­du­al. Natu­re gains importance in the dis­cour­se which it is part of. Its idea is coming right from the abili­ty to abs­tract from its appearan­ces. With the den­si­ty of socio­lo­gi­cal life and the move of work away from the natu­ral living envi­ron­ment natu­re has beco­me an esthe­tic resour­ce in the wes­tern cul­tu­re, an idyll which is sub­ject of lon­gings for ano­ther way of life ever sin­ce anci­ent times.

With the era of indus­tria­liza­ti­on the impli­cit­ness is being lost which has been the­re for all gene­ra­ti­ons befo­re. The trans­fi­gu­ring view onto beau­ty in natu­re as a mea­su­re for social order cer­tain­ly vanis­hed in the deve­lo­ped pro­blem-con­scious­ness in modern civi­liza­ti­ons: at least in a gene­ral con­text: expe­ri­en­ced sun sets still stay beau­tiful even though repro­du­ced in pic­tures end­less times. Thin­king about natu­re the­r­e­fo­re reflects onto the posi­ti­on of the coll­ec­ti­ve and only from the­re onto the posi­ti­on of the indi­vi­du­al towards natu­re. And here it is not only pro­gres­sing tech­no­lo­gi­cal pos­si­bi­li­ties which lead our know­ledge about it out into the open.

Tech­no­lo­gi­cal poten­ti­al of man is only mir­ro­ring its chan­ged self-under­stan­ding and that of his posi­ti­on in bet­ween natu­re and histo­ry. Tech­no­lo­gy is rea­li­zing what is alre­a­dy laid out by natu­re. Natu­re the­r­e­fo­re is not any­mo­re what just “is”, becau­se man hims­elf in the 20th cen­tu­ry of his time beca­me a rest­less fac­tor wit­hout gene­ral­ly loo­king for peace in a meta-phy­si­cal crea­tor. So it is deci­ded what natu­re is and what it will be, not only any­mo­re with the slow rhythm of evo­lu­tio­na­ry deve­lo­p­ments but also in socie­ty: not becau­se natu­re would have lost its unre­acha­ble exis­tence or becau­se socie­ties now are capa­ble of things which have been uni­ma­gi­nable two gene­ra­ti­ons befo­re, but also becau­se a loss of a bin­ding rela­ti­onship to phy­sics is coming along­side with the loss of unam­bi­guous­ness of phi­lo­so­phi­cal ori­en­ta­ti­on after the end of (an era of) bin­ding meta-phy­sics. It is also the encoun­ters of an irri­ta­ting open­ness of human natu­re bet­ween trans­se­xua­li­ty and vir­tu­al satis­fac­tion in bina­ry coded pseu­do-worlds which, again, is pro­vo­king the thin­king about natu­re. On a back­ground of an awk­ward start­ing posi­ti­on for the con­tem­po­ra­ry con­scious­ness in its posi­ti­on rela­ti­ve to natu­re, the awa­ke­ning poten­cy of cul­tu­re is deve­lo­ping towards its gene­tic recon­s­truc­tion. Human intellect is pro­ving as bio­lo­gi­cal power, with depth and inten­si­ty which was unthinkable to cur­rent life. Only gods and demons in fairy­ta­les and lore had the powers which man has today. It is not the phi­lo­so­phi­cal cri­ti­cism which is put­ting reli­gious tra­di­ti­ons into its place in meta­phors, but fore­most the prac­ti­cal self-con­scious­ness of a tech­no­lo­gi­cal civilization.

The work of Rei­ner Maria Maty­sik is reflec­tion on this shift in a self-under­stan­ding of man towards natu­re. In artis­tic impres­si­on they bring to light what is accom­pany­ing us in mere dif­fu­se dis­com­fort. This unea­se pri­ma­ri­ly only seems to be coming from the asking for domi­nan­ce of tech­no­lo­gi­cal abili­ties; deeper, it results from ten­si­ons bet­ween the direct hap­pi­ness with natu­re and the insight into the con­text which it is crea­ting as doom against its indi­vi­du­al emana­ti­ons. The new qua­li­ty the old unea­si­ness is get­ting is coming from the fact that man­kind has to be respon­si­ble for some­thing in the future which no sin­gle human can be respon­si­ble for: the pro­gram­ma­tic inter­ven­ti­on in the dark foun­da­ti­on of himself.

The objects and instal­la­ti­ons of the artist’s bio­lo­gi­cal sculp­tures need to be read as an expres­si­on and pre­sen­ta­ti­on of this self-under­stan­ding. The uncer­tain­ty with which natu­re is appearing to us on the hori­zon of our pos­si­bi­li­ties repeats its­elf in the ambi­gui­ty of his pro­ject. The life forms cal­led “post evo­lu­tio­na­ry” are ambi­va­lent and add to ten­si­on in our split rela­ti­onship to natu­re with a con­flic­ting esthe­tic ges­tu­re: What it holds rea­di­ly available as an expres­si­on of sen­sua­li­ty, allu­re­ment and pro­mi­ses, it takes it away in cold hor­rors as an uto­pist depic­ta­ti­on of life which over­powers and replaces the human bio­to­pe. The flaw­less func­tion­a­li­ty of their exis­tence is caus­ing even more irri­ta­ti­on sin­ce they are no func­tion­al beings in regards to human inte­rests: they don’t digest spil­led oil nor absorb super­fluous car­bon mon­oxi­de, they do not pro­du­ce nut­ri­ments in an adver­se envi­ron­ment, and they do not crea­te ice to pos­si­bly pre­vent the mel­ting of the polar ice caps. They are opti­mal­ly sui­ted for the bio­sphe­re, but a bio­sphe­re whe­re man gave up his self-con­fi­dence and crown of crea­ti­on to others. But the vita­li­ty, which is invo­ked by Rei­ner Maria Maty­sik, only at the very first glan­ce is a natu­ral one. Life of his pro­to­ty­pes is not ali­ve, but it appears as art. The bul­let­pro­of domi­nan­ce of their opti­mum func­tion­a­li­ty is a pro­duct of the ima­gi­na­ry. It has its ori­gin in the ima­gi­na­ti­on of the artist in which resi­des the desi­re for an untouch­ed and end­less natu­re which as a who­le keeps up and feeds, so as ever­yo­ne is used to from blood cir­cu­la­ti­on in their very own bodies.

Natu­re as a who­le will stay int­act and will fore­ver be in a con­stant chan­ge. The con­ceiva­ble cli­ma­tic cata­stro­phe will not be one cau­sed by natu­re, but one for humans and count­less other spe­ci­es. Only from the view­point of indi­vi­du­al life some­thing noble is crea­ted from the tri­vi­al facts of eter­nal natu­re. Life needs to be abs­trac­ted as a term and it has to be made sub­ject-mat­ter to escape the decr­e­pi­tu­de of indi­vi­du­al life. Exact­ly this is what hap­pens in the artis­tic con­cept of post evo­lu­tio­na­ry life forms. They stand for stra­te­gies to cheat death. And it crea­tes a tech­no­lo­gi­cal uto­pia wea­ring the mask of natu­re: life of tho­se sculp­tures is light which shi­nes for its crea­tor and gives him an unna­tu­ral gla­re. The esthe­tic mode­ling of post evo­lu­tio­na­ry life is pre­sen­ting its­elf as a fetish.

Thus, the fan­ta­stic momen­tum of the pro­ject is coming from the real insuf­fi­ci­en­cy in exis­ting natu­re. With the chan­ge in its per­cep­ti­on throug­hout various eras and socie­ties two aspects have been kept: the ter­ror from the blind­ness of its vio­lence and the insight in the non-avai­la­bi­li­ty of indi­vi­du­al life, that is, wit­hout being able to ful­ly take owner­ship. In the begin­ning, life is unavailable sin­ce it is being shaped befo­re it is rising into an indi­vi­du­al. This does not hin­der us to shape things once they ente­red into this world; lear­ning and edu­ca­ti­on also shape an inner natu­re. Until now we could see this work as a dia­lo­gue with what alre­a­dy exis­ted. The recent demand for sus­taina­bi­li­ty or the demand for eco­lo­gi­cal sta­bi­li­ty is in the tra­di­ti­on of an attempt­ed balan­ce act bet­ween what the earth gives and the things we take. But the­re is a new qua­li­ty of encoun­ters with natu­re ari­sing from the deci­phe­ring of the gene­tic code: do we like what we can read? What if not: who is wri­ting a new text of life?

In spi­te of such pos­si­bi­li­ties the ori­en­ta­ti­on on exis­ting natu­re is fai­ling. In the future, it will be about which natu­re we want, and not only becau­se it can be deci­ded on a tech­no­lo­gi­cal level. What has only been deba­ted within socie­ty will also fun­da­men­tal­ly deci­de our under­stan­ding of natu­re: who do we want to be?

This decis­i­on stays open, and: tech­no­lo­gi­cal abili­ties of man will not be able to ans­wer the­se ques­ti­ons. Tech­no­lo­gy is not the ans­wer, but part of a stra­tegy. Whe­re it leads to can­not be lear­ned from natu­re but from encoun­ters with it. Pos­si­ble ans­wers might ari­se from an ima­gi­na­ti­on which is con­stant­ly draf­ting its­elf anew on the steps bet­ween the uncon­scious­ness of bodi­ly impul­ses and making it a sub­ject-mat­ter in theo­ry and prac­ti­ce by culture.

Even with this vio­lence of con­text cited ear­lier as a motor for this power of ima­gi­na­ti­on with its clan­des­ti­ne­n­ess with which it is sha­ping indi­vi­du­al life, the level of abs­trac­tion is being mode­ra­ted with refe­rence to that it will be the rela­ti­onship to the very own natu­re able to give the ans­wer: It is recom­men­ded, for the ques­ti­ons in regards to the big pic­tu­re, to look for ori­en­ta­ti­on in the litt­le things: the rela­ti­onship bet­ween man and women may­be, or the one bet­ween par­ents and child­ren, young and old ones, beau­ty and ugli­ne­ss, the healt­hy and the ill, strong and weak, the healt­hy and the han­di­cap­ped. This will show us what kind this natu­re is we want to be. Human life has its digni­ty and its chasm in the fact to be able to give mea­ning to things which seem point­less: non repro­du­ci­b­le joy of life only lived once. The ques­ti­on about natu­re will be deci­ded with the atten­ti­on we are wil­ling to give to what is alre­a­dy the­re and which will vanish and never be repea­ted. Only if we are con­vin­ced that it is not all that bad in its various shapes: No mat­ter whe­ther age, ill­ness, ugli­ne­ss or death, we will be able to not do the one or the other thing. Natu­re then would be the code for a rela­ti­onship, which, – as in the mys­te­rious alche­my of reli­gi­on – has trans­for­med from doom to reve­la­ti­on: Some­thing given to us.