A Species Between Worlds: Our Nature, Our Screens

Silicon Valley is designing the world’s future landscape. As flat as our screens may be, virtual universes are quickly replacing the depth of the natural universe. ‘A Species Between Worlds’ reveals the encroaching digital landscape, our attachments to it, and the uncertain fate of our nature.

Since 2016, author and artist John Mack has committed himself to one of the most pressing conversations of our times: the digital takeover of human consciousness. 

With this perspective, Mack founded Life Calling, a non-profit organisation dedicated to preserving our humanity in the ‘Digital Age.’ In Life Calling’s signature program, ‘A Species Between Worlds’, Mack uses digital game design as a means to highlight the modalities of perception that bring about our disconnection from nature, including clues that might lead us back to our unity with it. With a passion for visually capturing not only the surrounding landscape but also the effects of connecting to either the natural or the virtual, Mack crisscrossed the United States of America, from Maine to Hawaii, photographing over forty-five US National Parks. 

In this installation Duratrans printing and lightbox framing take on the character of large flatscreens, while weathered wooden frames remind visitors of a sensual, natural quality of a fading past. With this juxtaposition, combined with a custom-designed augmented reality app, Mack explores who we are in relation to our environment and looks for clues as to whether or not a balance between nature and today's increasingly seductive technology can be attained. While the exhibition points to attention-grabbing apps such as email, Meta, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat among others, Mack chose the augmented reality game Pokémon GO® as a representation of addictive apps in general. Originally released by Niantic Labs in 2016, Pokémon GO® uses location-based technology to reveal stripped-down virtual versions of the surrounding environment. Mack calls attention to the app’s digital, barebones graphics that have come to substitute our greater reality, leading us to critically rethink our ever-deepening engagement with virtual technology. The flat, primitive renderings symbolise humanity’s widening divorce from the intricate depths of our true nature.

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John Mack

Artist & Lead Creative Direction


Life Calling

Design Architect:

MESH Architectures

Software & Hardware Development:

Treeline Interactive Media

Graphic Design:

Yup, it’s a Hub

Digital Illustration:

Richard P. Clark

Digital Image Processing:

SugarHill Works

Custom Framing:

Griffin Editions


The Soze Agency

Marketing & PR:

BLJ London

2023 Exhibitors