Machine Wilderness

Machine Wilderness is a platform organized by Zone2Source together with Theun Karelse from FoAM bringing together experts from many different disciplines and backgrounds to explore emerging hybrid ecologies where nature, technology and art intertwine. The emerging climate crisis and environmental damage show that our design processes underestimate the level of exposure of our landscapes to human activity. Our infrastructures, technologies and machines are not temporary visitors to our landscapes, they are permanent inhabitants.

Machine Wilderness is an arts and science program which explores what design processes could look like if they take local conditions in landscapes as their starting point. How can our technologies relate to the subtleties and grace of natural populations, mineral flows, foodchains and layers of communication? There is a focus on environmental robotics, or ‘entities’ as actors in shared habitats. What does their presence mean ecologically, culturally and sociologically, within a longterm view of interacting populations surfing collectively on the geological and meteorological currents that carry them.

Over time we set out to map the hybrid relationships between our technologies and landscapes through debates and workshops.

Machine Wilderness was launched on the 2nd of November 2015 during a symposium at Artis (see public program/lectures and debates on

Since we organized amongst others a field and design workshop at FoAM in Cornwall, UK, several workshops in the Amstelpark, expeditions at the Bio arts centre in Finland, presentation at RICX conference in Riga, Micro-Clima in Venice and at the Design Weekend and the Victoria &Albert Museum. In 2018 we organized a Machine Wilderness exhibition and series of residenties in het Glazen Huis in the Amstelpark. In 2020 we from april 12 to oktober 18 seven artists – Heather Davis, Driessens &Verstappen, Ivan Henriques, Antti Tenetz, Ian Ingram, Ivan Henriques, Spela Petric and Thomas Twaites – will work for several weeks at Artis Zoo, presenting their research and findings in an extensive public program.

For more information, see the projectwebsite
or read this interview with Regina Debatty in her blog We make Money not Art or this article in Engineering the Future

Machine Wilderness has been supported by Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie, Mondriaan Fonds, Stichting Doen, Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst, VSB Fonds

Machine Wilderness, Research Programs