2013, Mon, Oct 28

#2 Empire of Calculus - Finissage

German Climate Computing Centre, Hamburg | © Armin Linke, 2013

German Climate Computing Centre, Hamburg | © Armin Linke, 2013

Conversation with the authors of the Anthropocene Observatory, Anselm Franke, Lindsay Bremner (Director of Architectural Research, University of Westminster), Raoul Bunschoten (Professor of Sustainable Urban Planning and Urban Design at the TU Berlin) and Gloria Meynen (Chair in Media Theory and Cultural History at the Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen)

More information: www.anthropoceneobservatory.net

In the framework of
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From global CO2 markets to environmental monitoring, from system analysis to management theory: a series of computers and interconnected systems of calculation are the material basis for the multiple practices that connect science, finance, telecommunication and public policy at the age of the Anthropocene. Episode #2 explores the question: Can the planet be controlled?




Following the investigation of processes that are transforming the earth into an object of international planning, this episode examines how abstract modeling influences current decision-making and political processes. From global centers of climate modeling to reinsurance companies, CO2 markets to environmental monitoring, systems analysis to management theory: computer networks and other calculation systems constitute the material basis for the diverse practices and procedures that link science, finance, telecommunications and political strategies in the Anthropocene.

Dr Lindsay Bremner is an architect and scholar born in Zambia, who lived most of her life in Johannesburg South Africa. She is Director of Architectural Research at the University of Westminster in London, where she teaches history and theory and runs a design unit in the MArch programme. She taught previously at Temple University in Philadelphia, at MIT and at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. She is currently engaged in two research projects: Folded Ocean is investigating the organisational and spatial logics of the contemporary Indian Ocean world and Geoarchitecture is conducting research into intersections between architecture, geology and politics. This work is interested in the political life of geology, particularly of post mining landscapes, in buildings as geological agents, and in the history of geological thought in architecture. It is being undertaken through research, field work and teaching at the University of Westminster, London. Bremner holds a DScArch from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Raoul Bunschoten is Professor of Sustainable Urban Planning and Urban Design at the TU Berlin, and Senior Lecturer at the London Metropolitan University where he researches and teaches urban curation and low-carbon masterplanning. He founded and is the Director of CHORA (1993), an architecture, urbanism and research group based in London, Berlin and Beijing. As a specialist in Smart City planning he is involved in a range of Smart City and low carbon developments in China, both with academic and central government partners, as well as with local authorities. He is the co-founder of an Urban Lab for Smart City research at the TU Berlin and co-chair of the Sustainable City Systems platform of Climate KIC, a European initiative to kick-start projects and innovation related to climate change. He has published several books including Urban Flotsam (2001) and Metaspaces (1998). Currently, Prof. Bunschoten and CHORA are finalising a publication for the long-term research project Taiwan Strait Smart Region. The book will be published in early 2014

Gloria Meynen (Berlin/Friedrichshafen, Germany), studied German Literature Studies and Philosophy in Cologne, Bonn, Bochum, Constance and Berlin and did her PhD at the Institute for Cultural Theory and Cultural History with a doctoral thesis on »Office. The Invention of the two-dimensional surface«. From 2000 to 2006 she was a research fellow at the research group “Image – Sign – Number” at Helmholtz Centre for Cultural Techniques (Humboldt-Universität, Berlin). From 2006 to 2011 she was a senior research fellow of the NFS Bildkritik/ NCCR Iconic Criticism at the University of Basel. Since 2012 she represents the Chair in Media Theory and Cultural History at the Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen.

A project by Armin Linke, Territorial Agency (John Palmesino and Ann-Sofi Rönnskog) and Anselm Franke.