Familiar Strangers

Trevor Van den Eijnden
Laser-cut paper and MDF, glue, embroidery thread, Phillips screws
Edition of ten
10.16 x 10.16 x 10.16 centimetres (each)


Familiar Strangers is a sculptural time lapse of iconic, award winning Western naturalist wallpaper designs since the onset of the Industrial Revolution (circa 1784), thus linking them directly to the start of the transition toward the Anthropocene proper. They are delicate, extremely fragile machined laser cut disruptions of approximately ten-by-ten-by-ten centimetre paper surfaces that explore these patterns-from-nature. These works are then placed in the space to encourage audience interaction so that they may craft shadows with their cell phones in order to investigate the re-presentation of nature in a familiar, yet strange form—as simulacrum presented as pattern. They are physical manifestation of ideologically placing nature in boxes, and metaphorical of being only shadows of the real—a voluntas desertum.


Full title listing


Interval 01: creationism by any other name
Interval 02: there is always more somewhere else
Interval 03: send me away to where the weight of the world we have failed can not touch me
Interval 04: here, where we starve, we can see the workings of our comparative advantage
Interval 05: the skies are alive with sounds muffled by the cries of the dying
Interval 06: whose glory and renown are spread o’er land and sea
Interval 07: that which is beautiful is never true
Interval 08: four years before, and 156 after the origins of the species and we’re still here
Interval 09: life is an act of consumption, jupiter
Interval 10: the world keeps moving on but in my repetition i steal more time
Interval 11: this is how we dance under waves you can not see
Interval 12: all of us is present for your infinite and indefinite pleasure
Interval 13: a parliament of effective distances
Interval 14: despite the extinction i will return orderly and predictable
Interval 15: these will never be banana leaves
Interval 16: nothing is beautiful because it lasts
Interval 17: space has the boundaries of my imagination—i am anticipating things to come
Interval 18: there are satellites in the skies, lasers on the ground, and in the woods a silent spring all around
Interval 19: gardens, gardens everywhere
Interval 20: the world will not die with us
Interval 21: flowers with impact
Interval 22: the heat of the sun is you
Interval 23: we are our own ghosts in a landscape of our own making