Campus 2016: The Technosphere Issue

Anthropocene Curriculum

How do social, human and technological infrastructures operate within the Anthropocene, the geological age of humans? What are the concrete techniques, organisms, environments and possibly systemic dysfunctions that compose this new planetary condition? One way of describing this worldwide fabric of earthly, technological, and living systems is in terms of the technosphere, a hybrid field of infrastructural activities that has today achieved geo-systemic parity with other spheres such as the bio-, the hydro-, and the atmosphere. In what ways does this self-optimizing system coincide or interfere with adjacent spheres? How might humans intervene in, design, or change its dynamics? Or has the technosphere become an autonomous force beyond human intentions?

In an ongoing trans-disciplinary collaboration initiated by Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin) and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin), around forty scholars from around the world, working in the natural, environmental, and social sciences, as well as the humanities, arts, and architecture, jointly developed an Anthropocene Curriculum. Together with one hundred selected international researchers from different fields as well as actors from outside of academia, this program was put into teaching practice at the Anthropocene Campus: The Technosphere Issue from April 14-22, 2016. The Campus opened up new fields of knowledge and saught to respond to the challenges of the “age of humankind” by thinking beyond institutionalized disciplines, educational formats, and teaching content.

A first campus in November 2014 demonstrated the importance and urgency of this interdisciplinary approach. Its discussions and exercises showed that the concept of the technosphere may as a key agent determine the dynamics of the Anthropocene. Against this background the second edition of the Anthropocene Campus shed light on the this man-made sphere, posing the challenge of describing, understanding, and more consciously shaping a twenty-first century wherein the forces of humanity, technology, culture, life, and industry act in accordance with the biophysical possibilities and limits of our planet.

The Seminars of the Anthropocene Campus: The Technosphere Issue are developed by:
Jeremy Bolen, artist and researcher, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Elena Bougleux, cultural anthropologist, University of Bergamo
Susana Caló, philosopher, Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Kingston University London
Shadreck Chirikure, archaeologist, University of Capetown
Heather Davis, researcher and writer, Pennsylvania State University
Paul Edwards, historian of information technology and climate science, University of Michigan
Sasha Engelmann, geographer of art, Oxford University
Elaine Gan, artist and director of Aarhus University Research on The Anthropocene, Aarhus University
Beate Geissler, artist and researcher, University of Illinois, Chicago
Bernard Geoghegan, Senior Lecturer, Coventry University
Ryan Griffis, Associate Professor for the School of Art and Design, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Stéphane Grumbach, specialist of data, Institut Rhonalpin de systèmes complexes, École normale supérieure de Lyon
Joyeeta Gupta, University of Amsterdam, professor of environment and development in the global south at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research
Orit Halpern, historian, New School of Social Research, Eugene Lang College, Parsons School of Design
Olivier Hamant, biologist, National Institute for Agronomical Research, Lyon
Mark Hansen, professor of Literature and Visual Studies, Duke University
Gabrielle Hecht, historian, Program in Science, Technology, and Society, University of Michigan
Brian Holmes, art and cultural critic, University of Illinois, Chicago
Erich Hörl, media theorist, Leuphana Universität Lüneburg
Karin Knorr Cetina, sociologist and theorist of science, University of Chicago
Adrian Lahoud, architect and researcher, Dean, School of Architecture, Royal College of Art, London
Manfred D. Laubichler, biologist and historian of science, Arizona State University
Mark Lawrence, atmospheric scientist, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Potsdam
Jonas Loh, interface-designer, Studio NAND Berlin
Herbert Lohner, urban ecologist, BUND Berlin
Zoe Lucia Lüthi, natural and environmental science, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Potsdam
D.A. Masolo, professor of philosophy, University of Louisville
Franz Mauelshagen, historian, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Potsdam
Clapperton C. Mavhunga, professor of science, technology, and society, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Chaz Maviyane-Davies, professor of Design, Massachusetts School of Art and Design
Janot Mendler de Suarez, geographer, Boston University’s Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre
Myriel Milicevic, artist and interaction designer, Berlin
Robert Mitchell, professor of english, Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Science and Cultural Theory, Duke University
Daniel Niles, human-environmental geographer, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto, Japan
Matteo Pasquinelli, philosopher and media theorist, Berlin
Claire Pentecost, Professor in the Department of Photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Godofredo Pereira, history and theory at the M.Arch Urban Design program at the The Bartlett, University College London
Jürgen Renn, physicist and science historian, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin
Oliver Sann, artist and researcher, School of the Art Institute, Chicago
Tomás Saraceno, Künstler, Berlin / artist, Berlin
Falk Schmidt, political scientist, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Potsdam
Susan Schuppli, Acting Director and Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, University of London
Emily Eliza Scott, interdisciplinary scholar and artist, ETH Zurich
Melanie Sehgal, Junior Professor of Literature, Science and Media Studies at Viadrina European University, Frankfurt (Oder)
Bettina Stoetzer, professor in Global Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Bronislaw Szerszynski, sociologist, Lancaster University
Masahiro Terada, historian, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto, National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka
Alexandra Toland, visual artist, German Soil Science Society
Anna Tsing, professor of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz, Aarhus University Research on The Anthropocene, Aarhus University
Sander van der Leeuw, sustainability scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University
Andrew Yang, transdisciplinary artist and researcher, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin
Soyoung Yoon, Art Historian and Assistant Professor of Art History & Visual Studies, Department of Arts, Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, The New School, New York

The Anthropocene Campus: The Technosphere Issue is part of the long-term project Technosphere (2015-2018), inaugurated publicly on Oct 2, 2015 with a series of discursive formats gathering actors from the sciences, humanities and the arts. More information on the program can soon be found at this website.

The Anthropocene Curriculum is developed by Haus der Kulturen der Welt and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science. The Anthropocene Campus: The Technosphere Issue is part of the long-term project Technosphere (2015-2018), in the framework of the project 100 Years of Now of Haus der Kulturen der Welt.

Concept and realisation: Katrin Klingan, Christoph Rosol, Cordula Hamschmidt, Janek Müller with Roman Brinzanik, and Bernard Geoghegan