The View from Above Takes My Breath Away – Fully

A lecture-performance by Nadim Choufi

Monday and Tuesday, June 5 and 6, 2023 | 8:00pm (GMT+3)

Abstraction of nature is not just a thing of cartoons.

In The View from Above Takes My Breath Away – Fully, there is little difference between real-life scientists and Disney protagonists, or between UNESCO-sponsored global environmental projects and theme parks—in both cases, the desire for idealized worlds hinges on total environmental control. This lecture examines how abstraction is used to produce global environmental thinking, all the while intentionally blurring the lines between possession and preservation, fertility and extraction, colonial growth and green technology. Through different yet entwined narratives, it traces how environmental concerns framed as universal become counter-intuitively hyperlocal, situating the Middle East as a geographical playground for environmental diplomacy and domination.

A cloud, so well-behaved, so well-trained to emulate the contours of your aspirations becomes reduced to a perfect plush pillow — supporting you as you go along seizing the day (or better yet, the world).

Nadim Choufi is an artist living and working in Beirut. He primarily focuses on the material histories and futures of innovation, their social and political driving forces, and the visual and literary practices that surround them.