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Oberflächenwissen im Untergrund. Bemerkungen zur Technizität der Landschaft

The essay explores one of the industrial foundations of modern landscape in its very materiality: the chemical industry and its main principle – catalysis. The history of this universal tool of modern chemistry makes us combine three perspectives on the concept of landscape: the planetarian perspective on the surface of the earth as landscapes of global change, the everyday perspective on the dynamics of industrial agriculture and automobile traffic, and the microperspective involving chemical agents and catalytic surfaces in industrial reactors that basically make our fertilized fields grow and our refined fuels flow. Though these topics seem far away from Flusser’s work – concepts of surface, molecular communication, and border areas as priviledged zones of productivity – they are historically and technologically relevant to Flusser’s essays on nature and culture.