New Horizon Initiative
By showing how non-human entities perceive their environment, the "New Horizon Initiative" provides an A.I. rendered visual stakeholder analysis to "protect, restore and promote sustainable use of ecosystems and halt biodiversity loss" (SDG 15). Our thinking towards non-human life needs an urgent paradigmatic shift to "combat climate change and its impact" (SDG 13).
What would a landscape look like if non-human life such as plants, animals, insects were in charge? How does a bee see the landscape? What is the perspective of a tree? How does a snake see the world? How can these perspectives, the interests of non-human life, help to make executives aware that they are responsible for all life forms in their organizational decision-making? Decision-making in which the interests of non-human life should have the same value as the interests of humans.
The "New Horizon Initiative" analyzes and visualizes the different interests of non-human life in a landscape to advocate for inclusive decision-making.
The Sinai Experiment
The outcome consists of two landscapes: a salt desert landscape and a lowland desert which envisions how Sharm-El-Sheikh can look like, taking into account the interests of non-human life within landscape design.
Through this method we envision alternative perspectives for policymakers, CEOs and politicians at the UN Climate Change Summit (COP27) in Sharm-El-Sheikh to include the interests of non-human life in designing policy. With New Horizon Initiative we aim for the recognition and advocacy for the Rights of Nature as part of a legal framework.
Based on scholarly research, among others from Mohamed Zakaria Hateb of Wageningen University, we created a visual inventory of different types of vegetation and landscape elements that are important for the flora and fauna, site-specific for the Sinai desert around Sharm-El-Sheikh. We looked at the needs of common species, species that have disappeared and species that are on the Red List of the IUCN.
We used all of these images to do a visual stakeholder analysis through Artificial Intelligence to forecast what the landscape could look like.
What would Sharm-El-Sheikh look like if the interests of non-human life were taken into accounts?
Gus Drake (USA, 1995) is a Amsterdam based artist. He graduated in 2022 from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague (NL) with a BA degree in visual design. Throughout his artistic practice he surrounding the inter-relationship between humans and their environments. He uses the photographic medium as a creative force to play with the imagination. With his work he highlights new perspectives on what he calls ‘contemporary consumer landscapes’, contributing to environmental, cultural and ecological discussions.
With a background in arts and journalism, Dirk-Jan Visser (The Netherlands, 1978) is a documentary photographer, senior lecturer at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague and is a certified board member, currently holding a position in the supervisory board of World Press Photo Foundation. In his artistic practice he is interested in the ecological question. Through photography, stakeholder management and public affairs he wants to reach a large audience to facilitate dialogue on the relation and responsibilities humanity has towards non-human life.