Technosphere and Technoecology
Peter K. Haff (Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham) and Erich Hörl (Institut für Kultur und Ästhetik Digitaler Medien, Leuphana Universität, Lüneburg)
This conversation revolves around the different epistemic ways of assessing the agency of technology, technology seen here as multi-scalar system affecting and transforming both environment and theory. The “Technosphere,” a term put forward by the geomorphologist Peter K. Haff, is the quasi-autonomous system of energy-metabolizing technologies that acts itself as a geological agent. Meanwhile, his dialogue partner Erich Hörl ascertains a third stage of cybernetics, “neocybernetics,” as a general mode of “ecologizing” the coupling between human and technology. How do the modes of measuring and modelling, as well as those of describing and historicizing, inform our view of the transformative power of technology?
Water and Law
Joyeeta Gupta (Amsterdam Global Change Institute) and Davor Vidas (Fridtjof Nansen Institute, Oslo)
Water, the most pivotal resource. Under the premise of rapid environmental changes we see an increasingly important legal framework created around this contested element—no matter whether it being the access to and protection of fresh or fossil water reserves or the international regulation of the world ocean. What is the place of water in the political discussion on global commons and what are the legal practices enforcing a responsible handling of this crucial element? This dialogue brings together two experts on the fluid realm: the political scientist Joyeeta Gupta, taking the perspective on water as an object of governance, geopolitical cupidity, and international development and the legal scholar Davor Vidas taking the perspective of the marine space as a historically-formed framework that might be readjusted according to current environmental changes but also to recent geoscientific scholarship.