Jeremy Bolen, Emily Eliza Scott, and Andy Yang take on Sensing and the Anthropocene at the HKW in Berlin! We nerd out MoFos. With the brilliant Caroline Picard.

From their abstract…

With a critical eye to what aesthetics in/of/through the Anthropocene might mean, we will engage with ways that established forms of perceiving might be transformed in the broadest sense—toward new sensitivities of the long now, and the emergent technosphere that conditions our understanding of it.

“Aesthetics” is often understood as a matter of beauty or style, but the Anthropocene pushes us to reconsider the word’s original meaning (from Greek): to perceive by the senses or by the mind; to feel. Ideas of the Anthropocene have been shaped by a technospheric net of innumerable satellites, cameras, and detectors, resulting in an aesthetic regime composed of data that has been used to narrate profound changes to climate, landscape, and biodiversity over the past 400 years. But what comes after the GIS image? If quantification, abstraction, and the logic of evidential traces have been the means by which we’ve largely come to recognize our purported Anthropocene condition, then the question becomes how we might proceed so that our “sensing” is less “remote,” and forge aesthetics that incorporate not only the representational, but also the lived and affective experiences of various anthropo-scenes.

This workshop will pull at the aesthetics of the Anthropocene as they already exist, and as they might still be invented, exploring how we move from the analysis of specimens into integrated and dynamic forms of participation beyond spectatorship or mere comprehension. Through facilitated, small-group exercises and presentations the seminar will examine influential tropes (e.g. utopic, dystopic, photographic, metric, etc.) and ways that the Anthropocene reinforces or disrupts our default visual languages, and the definition of “aesthetics” itself. Engaging performance, para-fictional research, and design as well as visual art practices, this seminar aspires to mobilize aesthetics beyond the picture plane.


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