Richard John Seymour
The Corporation of Nature
The great Incan god Viracocha created the universe, sun, moon, stars, and time by instructing the sun to move across the sky. Tears descend as rain from his eyes. In the 21st century the great acts of creation and tragedy are gauged by their impact on the FTSE. Water, a substance of mythology and creation is also a finite resource. For the past 10 years out of 10 water stocks have outperformed those of gold on financial markets. In 2010 Bolivia became the first nation to give legal personhood to its landscape to protect it. Richard Seymour of Unknown Field’s Markets and Mountains Bureau has formed the Corporation of Nature and imagines Bolivia floating a 49% share of its water assets. Here landscape is a person, and water is a company. An act of legal wit lifted from the corporate world designed to protect and profit from one of the world’s most diverse ecologies.
Told through the format of an annual audit report, lakes, lagoons, glaciers, flora, and fauna, are quantified and valued for their water content. The landscape is re-engineered to trap water like gold in vaults and manipulate flows like trades across the market. Year on year. Ice on ice. Silt on silt. An act of design based in the realm of law, to offer an alternative to a system in which the financial landscape has superseded the real landscape from which its value is derived.