In January of this year, the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin opened a fascinating and ambitious new two-year initiative entitled The Anthropocene Project, which seeks to interrogate the effects stemming from the increasing destabilisation of the definition between man and nature.
Chasing a paradigm shift throughout the the twentieth and into the twenty-first century in the natural sciences, the project situates Paul Jozef Crutzen's coined geological epoch - the "anthropocene", an "age of mankind" - at its centre in order to explore the mutual enfolding of the "human" and "natural" relations.
The opening consisted of a four-day symposium of thinkers, artists, film-makers, scientists and scholars to in conversation over this theme. Recordings of these speakers, which included keynotes by Will Steffen, Elizabeth A. Povinelli, John Tresch and Dipesh Chakrabarty, as well as a host of other dialogues, are available online at their website (some of which will be explored in more depth in Part II, posted next week).
Upcoming events include: the Unmenschliche Musk Festival: Compositions by Machines, by Animals and by Accident feom 21-24 February, which brings music production under critical inspection; a film series Anthropocene TV which begins on 22 May and continues until the project ends; "The Whole Earth: California and the Disappearance of the Outside" Conference with accompanying exhibition, from 21-22 June; along with many other events. Further information and multimedia are listed on the HKW website.
"Nature as we know it is a concept that belongs to the past. No longer a force separate from and ambivalent to human activity, nature is not an obstacle nor a harmonious other. Humanity forms nature. Humanity and nature are one, embedded within the recent geological record."