From the very beginning, humans have devised myriad ways of capturing, altering, inventing, and defying the natural world.
We modify plants and animals for consumption. We capture and control them for study and entertainment. Our manipulation is as simple as a bird in a cage and as complex as genetically altered vegetables. It has also become art—dioramas, studio and park installations, altered photographs and films, and virtual ecosystems—that reveal new visions of nature.
Why we do this is not a simple question. Our reasons are sometimes practical, sometimes spiritual, and sometimes for pleasure. By our own design, we are at once a part of nature and apart from nature.
Ann Isaacson, Senior Educator, Guide Programs
Dennis Jon, Associate Curator, Department of Prints and Drawings
Minneapolis Institute of Art
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Minneapolis, Minnesota 55404
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