Invitation: Melting glaciers, Sudan/Egypt/Syria ablaze, ubiquitous selfies in the face of self-dissolution? Welcome to the ANTHROPOCENE: an era in which humans have become a force strong enough to dissolve human society itself, a force so strong it is on par with a super volcano, an asteroid, an entity capable of unleashing septillions of killojoules of Earth energy in an instant. What does it mean to inhabit this period? Join us for a lecture on the metaphysical-historical framework of the ‘time of Man’ and a post-mortem on the civilization our generation will, whether by decision or circumstance, necessarily leave behind.
Series Info: The great flood, the zombie hordes, the next Sandy or Katrina. This ongoing series considers a new geological epoch in which humans have impacted Earth to a stratigraphically greater degree than any other currently active natural process or form. Populating this age, is a civilization ordered around the modern individual, one working desperately to hold itself together, endlessly laboring to master the environment and itself beyond its bounds. But the naming of the Anthropocene comes not to announce humankind’s triumph but rather its exhaustion (at least according to the structure by which it has long pretended to abide). Marked by kilometers of receding ice and lengths of coastline lost to the sea, the growth of the desert, the expansion of pharmaceuticals (for humans, for pets, for plants), and the very existence of the film Her, the Anthropocene claims all as part of the same disaster, a metaphysical historical disaster, that is the very texture and environment of our lives.
A shared sense of this situation has, since childhood, permeated our everyday lives, but our grandparents and their grandparents before them have also perceived civilization’s end whether or not they ever registered it cognitively. A key goal of this series will be to start putting words to this feeling, to make it concrete, to develop a language, parameters, and a strategy for this new reality. We want to force this question, recognize this reality: Now that we are living in a ruin, HOW ARE WE TO LIVE IN A RUIN?