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Nature

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...

About ten years ago, Mathias de Lattre's interest in psychedelics led him to start researching psilocybin, a naturally occurring hallucinogenic substance produced by about 180 species of mushrooms. He had an intuition that these fungi could provide an alternative to the psychiatric treatment of his mother, who had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. His search took him from prehistoric cave paintings in France to traditional medicinal practices in the Peruvian jungle to psilocybin researchers in London and Zurich. Through text and images, Mother's Therapy brings together science and humanity.⁠   Buy...

60 years ago, world leaders agreed to leave Antarctica free of war, weapons and nuclear waste. They declared that the uninhabited continent with no indigenous population, twice the size of Australia and 98% ice, should not belong to any country and instead be dedicated to community science. Additional rules to prevent companies from mining minerals and drilling for oil made Antarctica the largest protected area in the world. Now climate change is eroding that success story. ⁠ But higher temperatures aren't the only threat to the pristine natural environment; in recent years, the continent has become a contested territory, concealing resources that could prove irresistible in a world with an ever-growing population.⁠ ⁠ On the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica, Antarctic Resolution offers a high-resolution image of this hyper-surveilled yet neglected continent. In contrast to the fragmented view offered by Big Data companies, the book is a holistic study of the continent’s unique geography, unparalleled scientific potential, contemporary geopolitical significance, experimental governance system, and extreme inhabitation model. A transnational network of multidisciplinary polar experts – represented in the form of authored texts, photographic essays, and data-based visual portfolios – reveals the intricate web of growing economic and strategic interests, tensions, and international rivalries, which are normally enveloped in darkness, as is the continent for six months of the year.   Buy...

When would be a better time to think about what beehives look like in other countries than while enjoying your Sunday roll with honey. Anyway, if you thought hives were these wooden boxes all over the world, you couldn't be more wrong. There are small houses with straw roofs, fully carved wooden soldiers with open mouths as entrances, vertical clay hives and baskets hanging in trees. And all this so that you can enjoy your bread with honey. And butter. Buy...

The fact that our future doesn't look that bright when we keep business as usual is frankly nothing new. Ollie Hunter's sustainable cook book 30 Easy Ways to Join the Food Revolution may doesn't have the one and only solution but it is a beginning to change the way we produce, buy, utilise and eat organic and (!) affordable food. This book gives an insightful understanding of sustainable approaches with a zero waste policy shifting the perspective on growing veggies by your own, avoiding plastic and how to get the finest seasonal ingredients within 30 miles around you. Buy...

Already the ruling class of the Victorian era was well aware of the priceless potential of the narrow strip where the land ends and merges into the sea. To ensure the safety and guarantee the jaunty leisure time of the working class, architect Eugenius Birch was the first one to construct a screw-pile system in which iron supports were driven deep into the seabed. Although most of these piers are no longer in use the unwavering fascination for the waterfronts remains. Setting sail into the deep blue unknown and infinite horizons Pleasure Garden's latest issue is the perfect supplement for all the landlubbers out there who decided to go with Balconia for this year's summer holiday. Get ready for a cool breeze, the taste of salt in your mouth and a highly seductive lazy leisure time with captivating stories swirling around the seaside. Buy...

If you are in anyway like us, having difficulties to keep even a basil alive on the windowsill, then this book comes just in time to create a small potted garden for this summer. Expert planting advice for growing fruit and vegetables in containers, whether it be a window box or a terracotta pot on a balcony, are accompanied by 50 delicious recipes. Aaron Bertelsen from the renowned English garden Great Dixter guides you through cultivation methods, the pots to be used, gives personal tips on choosing varieties and advice on cultivation and care. This book proves that lack of space is no obstacle to growing what you want to eat. And what could be better than harvesting and cooking home-grown food. Buy...

The latest issue of The Plant accompanies Harley Weir on ceramics art therapy with her father, shows the democratic significance of a place like Central Park, travels with us to Rio de Janeiro, and talks with Hans Ulrich Obrist and Formafantasma about their - then soon to be opened -exhibition at Serpentine Galleries. Now Formafantasma's exhibition can only be seen online, the possibility to travel to Rio is just a vague memory, and Central Park has a makeshift hospital on its grounds. In short, it is an edition that comes from the world of yesterday. Which is less than two months away, and yet it seems like a lifetime. But that still does not make the issues irrelevant. Quite the opposite. With all the news and headlines revolving around Covid-19, the terrible scenes in hospitals, and the people trying to cope with quarantine, loneliness and unemployment, we should not forget that we are still in the middle of a climate crisis, that parks, nature and green spaces are important for our health, and that creative, meditative work with our hands, like pottery, has a good effect on our mental health. Let us look at the topics of yesterday, because more than ever they will be the topics of tomorrow.⁠ Buy...

Nowadays humans spend most of their time indoors (and that not only since Covid-19), disconnected from nature. Even though scientific evidence suggests that nature sits at the heart of our psychological wellbeing, we move more and more away from it. Journalist Lucy Jones investigates what happens with our minds as we loose our Eden.⁠ Travelling from forest schools in East London, to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Poland's primeval woodlands, Californian laboratories to eco-therapists' couches, Jones explores how and why connecting with the living world can so drastically affect our health.⁠ Delicately observed and rigorously researched, this book makes us understand that we should not only protect and integrate nature into our life for nature's but also for our own sake. Losing Eden is a moving and inspiring call for rewilding our lives to save our mind and bodies.⁠ Buy...

In the Painted Desert (Yes, that is its actual name!) there are beautiful pieces of petrified wood laying around. And even though they are under protection and shall not be removed by anyone, a lot of visitors can not resist the urge to take one home as souvenir.⁠ But over a thousand people sent their dishonestly obtained trophies back, together with remorseful letters. They tell stories of misfortune, illness, troubles, and even death, that the sender connect directly to their stolen petrified wood. For many, their hope is that by returning these rocks, karma will be restored and good fortune will return to their lives. Unfortunately they can not be put back into the park as wished by many, since this would spoil sights for future research. And so they are put next to a gravel road in one big "conscious pile".⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Bad Luck, Hot Rocks prints a selection of the most intriguing letters of apology accompanied by photographs of pieces from the conscious pile. Buy...