In the 1970s, artist Max Peitner created a striking pencil drawing in which a forest sat in the middle of a coliseum packed with spectators. The idea behind the drawing was to imagine a time when forests will exist only as exhibition objects. In other words, it’s a thought experiment created to show humanity what could happen if we continue to exploit our natural environment.
The drawing is known as The Unending Attraction of Nature, and it remained stuck in the mind of artist Klaus Littman for such a long time that he decided to turn this striking dystopia into a reality. That’s right. In the middle of the Wörthersee Stadium in Austria, where the football team, Austria Klagenfurt, plays its home games, Littman has managed to get 300 trees planted.
It’s an extremely odd sight to see – one that serves a warning, “reminding us that nature, which we so often take for granted, may someday only be found in specially designated spaces, as is already the case with animals in zoos”. We included this story in today’s Optimist Daily because it made us think and because it emphasizes the important role that the arts play in helping us imagine the future, even when that future is not one we would like to see.