When i first read an article about how retired New York subway cars were dropped into the Atlantic ocean to serve as man-made reefs, my first thought was: "does the ocean truly turn them into reefs? Do they want the cars?". And sure the ocean did. The next photos showed the subway cars rail handles and seats were all covered by barnacles and swarmed by fish. The same thing happened to the hazardous city of Pripyat. 35 years later after the reactor meltdown that resulted in city-wide evacuation, leaving buildings abandoned for years. With no presence of human lives, this gave way for the nature around it to change, some modified genetically, but a lot more now - flourish.

At the same time, humans have known how to reclaim land from the sea, terraforming hills and valleys to build structures to move people far away, open forests to grow food that will feed the growing mass, and flatten any available lands to build houses that will shelter billions. We seem to flourish even more too.

When I created Reclaiming, I thought of nature as an entity that is neither good nor bad. Although human civilization has been advancing more than ever, it feels as if nature is indifferent to the advancement or plight of mankind, and that somehow feels reassuring. The moment we are ready to stop stacking concrete, we will see stem peeking through some cracks. The relationship of nature and humans has been an act of reclaiming parts of each other to survive. Is this humans claiming their nature, or does it belong to nature to begin with?

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dirbots - Nov22

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