"...The ultimate Tarkovskian landscape is that of a river or pond close to some forest,full of the debris of human artifices—old concrete blocks, rusty metal. The postindustrial wasteland of the Second World is the privileged “evental site,” the symptomatic point out of which one can undermine the totality of today’s global capitalism. One should love this world, with its grey, decaying buildings and sulphuric smell, for all this stands for history, threatened with erasure between the post-historical First World and the pre-historical Third World.
Let’s recall Walter Benjamin’s notion of “natural history” as “renaturalized history”: it takes place when historical artifacts lose their meaningful vitality and are perceived as dead objects, reclaimed by nature
or, in the best case, as monuments of a past dead culture. (For Benjamin, it was in confronting such dead monuments of human history reclaimed by nature that we experience history at its purest.) The paradox here is that this re-naturalization overlaps with its opposite, with denaturalization.
Since culture is for us humans our “second nature,” since we dwell in a living culture, experiencing it as our natural habitat, the re-naturalization of cultural artifacts equals their de-naturalization.
Deprived of their function within a living totality of meaning, artifacts dwell in an inter-space between nature and culture, between life and death, leading a ghost-like existence, belonging neither to nature nor to culture, appearing as something akin to the monstrosity of natural freaks, like a cow with two heads and three legs...."
slavoj žižek "Nature and its Discontents" SubStance #117, Vol. 37, no. 3, 2008