Clashing Presents: Memory and Oblivion in Times of Extinction

Sa21Mai15:00Sa17:00Clashing Presents: Memory and Oblivion in Times of ExtinctionWith Orit Halpern, Stephen Himson, Sophia Roosth, Mark Williams and Matthew C. WilsonVeranstaltungsartDiskussion,Präsentation


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.

Through examining the recent biotic changes recorded in the sediments of the San Francisco Bay, this session explores the accelerating processes and cumulative events of species extinction. In the face of the sixth mass extinction, the cultural foundations of archiving, preserving and memorizing find expression in the conservation of genetic information for species, in resurrection biology and in de-extinction methods. To what degree can we know the scope and pace of current species extinction? Are we even capable of grasping the irreversibility of biological extinction? How do extinction events inform our understanding of life and species in general?

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

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21. Mai 2022 15:00 - 17:00(GMT+02:00)

Haus der Kulturen der Welt

John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10, 10557 Berlin

Haus der Kulturen der Welt