2017, Thu, May 18

Anthropocene Lecture: McKenzie Wark

Arkady Astapovich, untitled, 1920s

Arkady Astapovich, untitled, 1920s

How can we radically reconceptualize the Anthropocene, the geological epoch in which humanity has become a determining factor in the planet’s further evolution? In the framework of the Anthropocene Lectures, McKenzie Wark presents his critical theory of the relation between labor and nature.

“The Anthropocene runs on carbon. It is a redistribution, not of wealth, or power, or recognition, but of molecules.” In his book Molecular Red. Theory for the Anthropocene (2015), recently released in German, the media theorist McKenzie Wark urges us to consider: “What the Carbon Liberation Front calls us to create in its molecular shadow is not yet another philosophy, but a poetics and technics for the organization of knowledge.” Referring to utopian concepts formulated by thinkers such as Alexander Bogdanov, Andrej Platonov, Donna Haraway, and Kim Stanley Robinson, he suggests an alternative realism capable of rethinking the very role of the working human. In conversation with the science historian Giulia Rispoli he discusses how an organization of knowledge and labor could be reshaped that does not put the existence of current life on this planet in peril.

The Anthropocene Lecture series is a platform for inviting a number of prominent speakers accentuating the debate on the Anthropocene.

The Anthropocene Lecture series is being developed in cooperation with the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Potsdam, and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin.