2013, Fri, Jan 11

Island: Times

With Claire Colebrook (Department of English, Pennsylvania State University, University Park), Nikolaus Geyrhalter (Documentary filmmaker, Vienna), Daniel Rosenberg (Department of History, University of Oregon, Eugene), Jan Zalasiewicz (Department of Geology, University of Leicester). Moderation: Reinhold Leinfelder (Institut für Geologische Wissenschaften, Freie Universität Berlin)


This island seeks to sensitize our perception to the simultaneous and divergent temporalities implicit in the Anthropocene idea. If our being-in-the-world can be seen as one immersed in the times and spaces surrounding it, then we could consider our experience of time as a condition, a status subject to negotiation as well as manipulation. Cultural, biological, and geological times seem to fold onto one another, partly compressed to discrete quantities of condensed happening, partly expanding to unfathomable re-scalings beyond our capacity for foresight. Cyclic turns, hallucinatory curvatures, disassociative textures, unquantifiable times converge onto the complex continuum of being. In terms of the political task to enact decisions, how does the transformation of our times influence our ability to take a proscriptive or retrospective view on our actions and their effects?

Claire Colebrook (University Park, PA) is professor of English at Penn State University. Her areas of specialization are contemporary literature, visual culture, and theory and cultural studies. She has written articles on poetry, literary theory, queer theory, and contemporary culture. She is the editor of the book Extinction published in 2012 as well as co-editor of the Series "Critical Climate Change" and member of the advisory board of the Institute for Critical Climate Change.


Nikolaus Geyrhalter (Vienna) is a director, author, producer, and documentary filmmaker. Within his films he tries to eliminate the hierarchies between materials, things and persons by a specific formal approach to static camera shots and a focus on processes of human labor, decay and ritual. His most well known film "Our Daily Bread" (2005) shows processes of food production without commentary or subtitles.


Reinhold Leinfelder (Berlin) is a geologist and professor at Freie Universität Berlin (head of the study group Geobiologie und Anthropozänforschung) and at Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society an der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. He ia a memberof the Wissenschaftlicher Beirat der Bundesregierung Globale Umweltveränderungen and of the Sachverständigenbeirat für Naturschutz und Landschaftspflege des Landes Berlin.


Daniel Rosenberg (Eugene, OR) is professor of history at the Robert D. Clark Honors College, University of Oregon. He specializes in questions of historical representation.With Anthony Grafton, he is author of"Cartographies of Time: A History of the Timeline" (2010) and with Susan Hardin, "Histories of the Future" (2005). He is editor-at-large of Cabinet: A Quarterly of Art and Culture. His current work concerns the history of data.


Jan Zalasiewicz (Leicester) is a senior lecturer in geology at the university of Leicester, UK, and member of the Stratigraphy Commission of the Geological Society, London,a body of scientists which has been notably involved in analyzing the Anthropocene phenomenon. He teaches various aspects of geology and earth history and is a researcher into fossil ecosystems and environments across over half a billion years of geological time.

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