Two Views of Nature in Iceland

Nature today is the process of waiting around for a moment of surprise. This hour at Geysir, is a good example.

The jolt of excitement it gives (essentially the breaking of your self-imposed exile from self in the act of waiting) especially if viewed in a crowd against which you can measure your response, is then called the power of the natural world. It is the age of advertising, psychology and science.

Half a century ago, nature was much closer. You lived in it.

It was an age of art. As a result, nature was conceived as a painting, which would then influence its observers in both spiritual and practical ways.

Well, it has grown now, as these tree plantations show. This shaping can still continue and is one of the reasons why art must be defended and continually reinvented in conversation with the earth. It is always waiting. Sometimes you just have to turn around.

2 thoughts on “Two Views of Nature in Iceland

  1. Josh Gross | The Jaguar

    Now I’d say that nature is something we commodify, packaging it up and handing control of it to the wealthiest industrialists in the hopes that they’ll “save it;” because they always have in the past. That’s why we now speak of nature (at least in big-league conservation circles) as “ecosystem services” and “natural capital” that is best described using dollar values.

    1. Harold Rhenisch Post author

      Thanks. Perhaps this tendency illustrates some essential problems with the idea of “nature”. You’ve got me thinking it would be fun to pry that apart a bit and see what’s hiding inside.



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