Presentations & Discussions

Clashing Presents: Between Big Melt and Small Policies

With Victor Galaz, Cymene Howe, Liz Thomas and Ricarda Winkelmann

Sat, May 21, 2022
Auditorium
12–2 pm
Free admission

In German and English

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Scanning microscopy workplace, Photo: © Beata Smieja–Król / Coral photo taken during diving trip to Flower Garden Banks, Photo: © Kristine DeLong; Collage: NODE Berlin Oslo

Processes like glacial melt, species extinction, economic growth and the formation of political policies are both deeply intertwined and follow very particular individual temporalities. How can we meaningfully and urgently address these critical clashes of planetary and societal time?

The early Anthropocene is characterized by a critical dynamic of conflicting temporalities. While Earth’s spheres – from the biosphere to the technosphere – are undergoing various dynamics of extreme acceleration and disruption, societal processes and institutions of governance and decision-making seem unable to keep pace. The Earth system is apparently about to cross a number of tipping points that will affect life on the planet for an indefinite period of time. The narrowing time corridors for disrupting these dynamics transform the question of justice and survival in the Anthropocene into a question of aligning these critical temporalities.

By closely examining the imprints that these “clashing presents” have already left in Earth’s archives, this three-part session explores the competing time horizons, latency effects and accelerations that run counter to the pulse of late-Holocene societies. Each session starts from a site of stratigraphic research on the Anthropocene to explore a specific set of conflicting temporalities.

Proceeding from stratigraphic analysis on Palmer Peninsula, Antarctica, this session contrasts the temporalities of the tipping points in the Antarctic ice shield with the temporal dynamics of political institutions. How do policies need to change in order to do justice to the vanishing cryosphere? Which temporal immediacies and horizons do new forms of collectives, connected through a rising global ocean, need to coalesce?

With Victor Galaz, Cymene Howe, Liz Thomas and Ricarda Winkelmann

Unearthing the Present

Clashing Presents: Memory and Oblivion in Times of Extinction

With Orit Halpern, Stephen Himson, Sophia Roosth, Mark Williams and Matthew C. Wilson

Presentations & Discussions

May 21, 2022

Unearthing the Present

Clashing Presents: Reconciling Presents

With Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent, Andrea Borsato, Nigel Clark, Ann Cotten, Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò

Presentations & Discussions

May 21, 2022