VVAA – Second Nature


sonosheet, USB card + booklets – éditions ésam Caen / Cherbourg

On removing an elegant USB card with some beautiful prints on a pearl background from an envelope with the “THE LISTENER” printed on the seal, we transfer the 23 minute file to our computer. The envelope in turn was inside a cardboard box that includes two small but hefty leaflets and a poster featuring a manifesto-style text with the enigmatic title: “To Rock the Boat Head First – In Praise of Research”. That’s not all: there is also a folder and two pages of colorful photos, a flexi disc and a larger square booklet. From the beginning, what we hear are natural sounds captured and edited by Jana Winderen, some birdsong and a constant background noise that could be water flowing. The project was made possible by contributions from the Agence de l’eau Seine Normandie and the Ambassade Royale de Norvège de France Norsk Kultrurråd, as part of the research project REPPAVAL. This focuses on the concept of second nature, meaning how nature and renaturation interact. The representations of landscape and nature and the work of ecological restoration are at the same time the subject of the research and the result of ongoing mutations. Here, it’s possible to say that nature is actually not natural at all. More or less, this is the same in all the rural areas of the old continent, the sum of several factors and human activities, mostly with a productive sense more than some aestheticized rural vision. If the visual act is not simply a passive registration of the external physical environment, here there are many elements which define new scenarios. Theories, sounds, images: the contents are provided by the journalist and photographer Agnès Villette, the artist and publisher Thierry Weyd and the researcher Camille Prunet. There is a premonition of a discipline focusing on the relationship between man and environment where only technical models and procedures hang over everything, but this is not that case. Here we can find aesthetic approaches and all the charms from Dark Ecology by Timothy Morton, the vision of a future coexistence between man and nature.