Art in the Anthropocene cannot be limited to a thematization of the many different dimensions of the current ecological crisis. Both the theory and the practice of art need to
Art in the Anthropocene cannot be limited to a thematization of the many different dimensions of the current ecological crisis. Both the theory and the practice of art need to address questions of form. While the world is subject to a radical transformation through human interference, traditional categories of knowledge and experience are being called into question. How can aesthetic representation reflect this deformation of the human relation to the world? The talk will address three formal challenges that art faces in the Anthropocene: Latency — the fact that the fundamental processes of environmental change elude perception and representation; entanglement — the fact that humans are caught in the complexities of the Earth system, and scale — the fact that we are dealing with objects and processes on scales of magnitude that cannot be directly accessed by human understanding or control.
Eva Horn is professor of modern German literature at the University of Vienna. Her areas of research include literature and political theory, disaster imagination in modern literature and film, cultural conceptions of climate, and the Anthropocene. She is author of The Secret War. Treason, Espionage, and Modern Fiction (2013), The Future as Catastrophe (2018), and, together with Hannes Bergthaller, The Anthropocene: Key Issues for the Humanities (2019, simultaneously published in German as Anthropozän zur Einführung).
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