The countryside is commonly perceived as a “memento” through which the city remembers and considers its counterpart: nature, the great outdoors where values, traditions, and honest principles once shaped a feeling of life in harmony with the natural environment and its rules. If in the past the countryside was informed by highly ritualized localism and farming arising from a personal relationship with the land, nature, and animals; today it has become a highly mechanized territory where automation, digitalization, and specialization is driven by the increasing demands for efficiency in agriculture and the food industry. These developments are reflected in the extreme control of the domesticated and even consumed landscape, while paradoxically the countryside has ceased being a labour-intensive place. The countryside thus becomes a kind of non-place, an undefined space in which identity and historical meaning are quickly fading away.
Beyond nostalgia and romantic longing for lost traditions, the episode Countryside Reloaded refers to the manifestation of a hyper-reality related to a constructed countryside illuminated by the designers’ interventions. The surroundings of the Genterovci village in the Lendava region of Slovenia has been temporarily transformed into a land of knowledge, a space of awareness and criticism, where food production, consumption, and information are experienced along a 4 km surrealist tour that offers not only walking, but also foraging and eating.