A machine that futily scratches away at the wall. A spinning disk inside a viewing structure. Both objects are representations of new types of mental states that emerge from contemporary human-landscape emotions. Glenn Albretch, an Australian philosopher has been developing ‘a rich psychoterratic typology that provides a language and conceptual landscape to match the rich range of emotions and feelings people have about nature and place.’ He argues that descriptive words are now outdated, especially at a period of time when humans are recognised as the primary force of environmental and geological alterations . These anxious contraptions are proposals and provocations for the re-examination of new types of mental states that emerge from human-landscape emotions today.

Psychoterratica 1 aims to provoke a sense of ‘solastalgia’ as defined by Albretch as the mourning of altered landscapes. The futile nature of the machine’s scratching aims to evoke a sense of despair, but also a revisit to the breaking of boundaries and barriers inspired by the design of sixties counter-culture movement.

Pscyhoterratica 2 is an experimental sculptural response to the Ultimate Painting – organized according to a five-pointed geodesic framework, the geometric structure that inspired the Drop City cosmology, the painting reveals different patterns under various frequencies of a strobe light. It was created in the 1960’s by Drop City commune members as part of the exploration of counter culture movements. Psychoterratica 2 uses the same technological format but different colours and spinning imagery to bring it to present day. It’s repurposed version is the physical manifestation of environmental anxiety that inundate us on the media. The patterns created aims to do the same as the Ultimate Painting, elevating consciousness but within the environmental context.

With thanks to
Laurence Symonds

Illustration/animation by Laura Nasir-Tamara