Nature Amplified

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Abstract

This article explores the recent—and still ongoing—proliferation of the skywalk phenomenon around the world with a special focus on the hitherto scholarly neglected installations in the European Alps. It takes its cues from the very language and format utilized to advertise the various Austrian, French, German, Italian, and Swiss skywalks online and, guided by them, approaches the phenomenon from three different directions: Kant’s notion(s) of the sublime; the concepts of simulation and the hyperreal; and the economic pressures on touristic development in the European Alps in the age of global warming. The goal of this article is to trigger further reflection on and discussion of this still expanding touristic phenomenon, this most curious “amplification of nature.”