🌿 Next Nature
“Faking for mental illusion”



Blue skies printed on billboards, electric pedestals camouflaged with forest patterns, waterfalls paintings welcoming us in buildings and much much more...

Having close encounters with “natural elements” during a walk in the urban space doesn’t seem to be so impossibile.

The essential requirement for truly appreciating these elements is to change our normal conception of “nature” into what we can identify as “synthetic nature”.

It is a nature that does not produce any kind of sensation, be it tactile or olfactory, but compensates with a strong visual impact mainly reproduce thorough different types of prints in various formats and surfaces.

I wonder if these designs are just a rapresentation of a  futuristic way of living or if they’re merely fillers useful for lightening the visual impact of certain urban elements.


The synthetic representation of natural elements probably wants to bring the viewer to a feeling of well-being, freshness and freedom: characteristics easily found in natural spaces, certainly not in the urban ones.

We surround ourselves with fake plants that we don’t have to take care of but which give us the visual effect of “ever green”.

We cover walls and entrance doors with patterns of water and sky, almost as if we were entering some oneiric world.

Nature as aesthetics.

Synthetic Nature as Next Nature.

Is this really the world we want?

︎ Exercise 01

Finding mattresses around the streets of Barcelona seems to be quite a common thing.
Normally they are placed near dumpsters so that they can be collected by the street cleaners. However, they can also be found in totally random places such as leaning against the walls of buildings, perhaps because they are too heavy to be placed near the bins.
I admit that this concentration of mattresses along the streets has always fascinated me.

I find it extremely curious how, an element on which we spend a large part of our days and which accompanies our rest and dreams, gets simply abandoned along the side of a road, as if it were an ordinary object.
Yet I certainly could not expect anything else, in the end it is simply a tool that facilitates our sleep.
However, I like to think that these elements, once so intimate, now become public domain and free to be interpreted according to the street's rules.

Over time I have learnt to observe these elements as a huge canvas, but a soft canvas, which has cradled the dreams of some stranger and was once perhaps the most intimate and personal element of the home.

This reflection led me to think about how I could intervene on it, aware of the fact that it would be an extremely ephemeral intervention given the fact that this object, once abandoned in the street, would then be picked up and thrown away within a short time.

Once again, the ephemeral value of this element stimulates me to think about reproducing something simple, quick but still full of meaning and poetry.

I believe that the sky is the perfect representation to depict on a mattress just before it is thrown away.
Such an abstract, light and above all ethereal, almost imperceptible element.

For the past year I have been trying to carry a spray can of 'sky blue' in my backpack so that I am always ready to define the sky on the mattresses I encounter on my walk.

This exercise allows me to re-interpret the concept of "Next Nature" which I investigate through my observations and which aims to highlight how humans tend to represent the concept of nature within the urban context.

Now that I feel I understand the techniques, I allow myself to give my own reading of the space that surrounds me.

self_else 2022