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Nature

There's been a lot of talk lately about space exploration. But Pauline Julier goes one step further. At a time when billionaires and governments are setting out to control space while our planet is still suffering the consequences of centuries of exploitation, Julier points out that efforts to find new worlds are nothing more than a new form of colonialism. Her visual exploration took her to the Atacama Desert in Chile, where the training grounds for NASA's rovers are located next to one of the largest lithium mines in the world. A place where the destructive capitalisation of our planet is most palpable, right next to the attempt to find new habitable worlds or at least some mineable resources. What ever the cost. Buy...

"There is food within 3 metres of your front door," this book claims. Well, if you live in Berlin, you might think of a juicy falafel rather than wild herbs when you hear that sentence. Nevertheless, this is a fantastic guide for anyone who is fed up with the ever-same supermarket zucchini and aubergines. Eat Weeds will help you forage for wild foods and discover new tastes. From the forest to the sea, from the riverbank to your own garden.⁠ Buy...

This wonderfully shiny book teaches us how mushrooms can feed us, heal us, free us and save our world! Wait, what?!⁠ ⁠ Think about it, the kingdom of fungi has survived all five major extinction events! They are the so-called architects of the natural world, integral to all life. They sustain critical ecosystems, recycling nutrients and connecting plants across vast areas, and help to produce many staples of modern life, such as wine, chocolate, bread, detergent and penicillin. So let's take a moment and study what these little spores can teach us. Today, in the face of urgent ecological and societal crises, fungi are being engineered to grow meat alternatives, create new sources of medicine, produce sustainable biomaterials, remediate the environment and even expand our collective consciousness.⁠ ⁠ The Future is Fungi is a complete introduction to this hidden kingdom. Exploring their past, present and potential future impact in four key areas – food, medicine, psychedelics and mental health, and environmental remediation – this book not only reveals how fungi have formed the foundations of modern life but how they might help shape our future. Rich with informative texts, 3D digital art and tips on how to immerse yourself in the world of fungi, this is a manifesto for the future, an invitation into a deeper awareness of our relationship with the natural world, each other, and ourselves. Buy...

Nicolas Floc'h's photographs seem to come from another world. Unearthly rock formations and scattered tiny star-like dots in infinite darkness. But these images are not from outer space. Rather, they have been taken from the surface of our planet Earth, and yet they are completely inaccessible to humans.⁠ ⁠ These alien-looking landscapes are from the bottom of the ocean, so deep that there is no light and no human can get there. To take the pictures, Nicolas Floc'h strapped his self-developed wide-angle camera system to the front of the Ariane robot and used the Ariane's headlights to illuminate the landscapes. Eleven dives between -700 and -1800 metres explore the ocean and our planet at the edge of the visible.⁠ Buy...

Matter is a constant. It has been there from the beginning and it will remain in the future. ⁠ Derived from the Latin word mater, meaning mother, it refers to the substance of which all things are made. In English, the word can also refer to urgency or importance, something to be taken care of. Aleix Plademunt's photographic project Matter explores matter, which although itself inert, immobile and unable to reproduce, is the basis of all life. This book is about our origins, existence and the Big Bang. And about the organism at the end of which is death - but matter remains.⁠ Buy...

[vc_row][vc_column width='1/5'][/vc_column][vc_column width='3/5'] In light of the recent presidential election in France–whose results further reflect the deepening political polarization throughout Europe and the Western world as a whole–we thought that Rejected: Designs for the European Flag would be a timely choice for this month’s installment of our Surprise Subscription. More
[vc_row][vc_column width='1/5'][/vc_column][vc_column width='3/5'] For a long time, the terms fashion and sustainability seemed contradictory. If anything, sustainably produced garments were clothes - but never fashion. Fortunately, the world has changed since then and there is now a new generation that no longer separates style and responsibility. The Lissome is a brainchild of this generation. More

In architecture, the ground is usually used only as a passive foundation. This book explores the possibilities of buildings that merge with the ground, the earth and the landscape.⁠⁠ ⁠⁠ The evolution of architecture is also an evolution away from nature. The 1960s was the key moment when buildings were at their most clinical. Since then, more and more architects are trying to reconnect with nature. They work with the landscape and the special features of the site. But of course, this is not an invention of the modern age, it is what architecture has been for millennia. And so this book embarks on a journey around the world and through the history of architecture in search of examples of buildings and building methods that are not only in harmony with the landscape, but also make use of its special characteristics. In this way, these buildings are almost an extension of the earth's crust. ⁠⁠ ⁠⁠ One of the many fantastic examples are the churches of Lalibela in Ethiopia (seen in the first picture), which are not built upwards but downwards, literally carved out of the ground. You could call them a kind of negative architecture. ⁠⁠ ⁠⁠ Many of these historical examples were previously undocumented, so this book also serves as a kind of archive with first architectural drawings of these buildings, categorising them and making connections between methods and aesthetics.⁠⁠ ⁠⁠ Buy...

Anders Frederik Steen, one of the central figures of natural winemaking, started out as a sommelier in Copenhagen - first at Noma, then opening Relæ and Manfreds - before heading to the South of France in 2013 to become a winemaker himself. These are his notes on winemaking and wine drinking, but they are also the doubts and insights during the learning process.⁠⁠ Poetry is Growing in our Garden shows what it means to understand (and misunderstand) wine, to taste and pair it, the balance between craftsmanship and abstract philosophy, and the technical details, in short, the thoughts of someone deep in their craft.⁠⁠   Buy...

The Greek natural philosophers, the alchemists, believed that the transformation of substances in nature was possible. They believed that nature strives for perfection and that therefore all earthly metals would one day turn into gold. And so they searched for a "philosopher's stone" that would transform simple base metals into precious gold.⁠ Remarkably, after the discovery of radioactivity in 1925, gold was actually produced from base metals for the first time. Such transmutation is possible in particle accelerators or nuclear reactors, but the production costs currently exceed the market price of gold many times over.⁠ Jana Hartmann's work is a photographic research on the scientific exploration and conquest of nature from the beginnings of alchemy to the present day. In her photographic works, she takes up various themes that have aroused the curiosity of researchers throughout history, such as the concept of matter. With the aesthetic verve of her motifs - including references to alchemical symbolism, scientific experiments, natural history exhibits and self-built studio models - she entices curiosity about the scientific context.⁠ The photo book Mastering the Elements juxtaposes her photographic references with the results of her extensive research of alchemical writings, accounts by contemporary scientists and articles on the ethics of science, initiating a fascinating dialogue between different narrative perspectives - the visual artistic, the allegorical alchemical, the philosophical and the scientific.⁠ For the artist, the message we can take from the alchemists is a holistic view of the world in which man and nature, spirit and matter are closely interwoven.   Buy...