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»IMAGINING EARTH Symposium«

Johnson Space NASA Center: Full Earth

Concepts of Wholeness in Cultural Constructions of ›Our Home Planet‹

To call upon the ›whole Earth‹ has become a common way to evoke significance. Claiming the ›global‹ importance of a problem, a place or a practice aims for the mobilization of attention and resources that exceed the potential of groups and societies in a traditional, pre-globalized sense. This rhetorical strategy implies a community which supersedes nationality, ethnicity, and even the difference between nature and culture. ›Earth‹ itself has become available. Maps, traffic and trade routes, telecommunication and education hold the possibility and the promise to see the whole world with one’s own eyes for each and every individual (today even without leaving one’s desk). But even a photo of Earth can only ever show half of it, just as the (visible) profit of globalization only reaches part of the ›global‹ society. At the same time (world-wide) conflicts that originate in cultural and economic differences, claims to protect diversity, and concerns about the destruction of ›the environment‹ raise considerable doubts about the existence of ›Earth‹ as an already united entity and point out the utopian potential of this notion.

Despite the limitations, globalization has become a fact and the effectiveness of imagined unity and wholeness cannot be denied. The successful dissemination of these notions raise several questions concerning the conditions, purposes and areas of success: How are the notions of one Earth, our Planet or the World imagined and distributed? What is the role of cultural imagination and practices of signification in the imagination of »the Earth«?

Thursday, May 29

9.30-16.30 Doctoral Workshop: »The Posthuman Anthropocene: Our Oxymoronic Epoch« Greg Garrard

Conference Opening

18.00 Welcome Address (Solvejg Nitzke, Nicolas Pethes, Erich Hörl)

18.30 Keynote Lecture: Saskia Sassen (Columbia University) »When Territory becomes Nomadic«

19.30 Welcome-Reception

Friday, May 30

10.00-11.00 Keynote Lecture
Bruce Clarke (Texas Tech University) »Planetary Immunity, or Gaia without Apologies«

11.00-12.30 Panel I: Earth in Danger (Sphere of Risk) – Climate Change and the Imagination of ›global‹ Risk                 

Chair: Erich Hörl (Leuphana Universität Lüneburg)

1. Birgit Schneider (Universität Potsdam) »Red Planets - Cosmograms of the Anthropocene? A Critique of Climate Visualizations«

2. Greg Garrard (University of British Columbia) »The Posthuman Anthropocene: Our Oxymoronic Epoch«

12.30-13.30 Lunch

13.30-15.00 Panel II: Beyond Earth (Sphere of Communication) – Network(s), Traffic/Trade / Expansion                        

Chair: Nicolas Pethes

1. Angela Krewani (Universität Marburg) »Imaging the World with Google«

2. Urs Stäheli (Universität Hamburg) »The Earth as list: From being global to possessing the global«

16.00-17.00 Keynote-Lecture
Timothy Morton (Rice Univercity) »Why Environmental Awareness is Loopy«

Saturday, May 31

10.00-12:30 Panel II (Part II)                            

Chair: Nicolas Pethes (Universität zu Köln)

1. Christina Vagt (TU Berlin) »Environmental Design«

2. Thilo Wiertz (IASS Potsdam) »Engineering the Global Climate«

3. Jennifer Gabrys (Goldsmith London) »Program Earth«

12.30-13.30 Lunch

13.30-15.45 Panel III: Narrating Earth/Narrative Earth (Sphere of Myth) – Modernity/Myth/Utopia                 

Chair: Solvejg Nitzke (Ruhr-Universität Bochum)

1. Sibylle Machat (Universität Flensburg) »›Spaceship Economies‹: Apollo 13, Earth Day, and the Myth of Unlimited Supply«

2. Gabriele Gramelsberger (KHM Köln/FU Berlin): »The mathematical narration of climate and its ›mythic‹ dimensions«

3. Nicolas Pethes (Universität zu Köln): »Unity as Destructibility: The World in Demise in W.G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn«

16.00-17.30 Panel IV: Earth without/after Humans? (Sphere of the Non-Human)

Chair: Erich Hörl (Leuphana Universität Lüneburg)

1. Frédéric Neyrat (University of Wisconsin, Madison) »The Empty Box and the Full Body. Inquiry on the Unconstructible Part of the Earth«

2. Solvejg Nitzke (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) »(Post)Human Life after Earth. Dietmar Dath’s Exploration of Space«

18.00 Concluding Meeting and Dinner

Organisation: Solvejg Nitzke (Bochum), Erich Hörl (Lüneburg), Nicolas Pethes (Köln).

In Kooperation von C60/Collaboratorium, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Research School RUB und Zukunftsakademie NRW.

Weitere Informationen unter imaginingearth.wordpress.com

WANN?

29.05.-31.05.2014

WO?

Zukunftsakademie NRW, Humboldtstr. 40, Bochum

WAS?

Concepts of Wholeness in Cultural Constructions of ›Our Home Planet‹

WER?

Solvejg Nitschke, Eriche Hörl, Nicolas Pethes, et al.

C60@INSTAGRAM