Workshop & Reading Group
Thinking Together

History and Time in the context of the Gaia hypothesis

River delta in Island

River delta in Island

© / Oleh_Slobodeniuk

  • In English

Past Dates

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The Gaia hypothesis states that there has been a leap in our relation to nature and our planet. As the current state of globalisation and the discourse around the Anthropocene unfolds, the question of this relation gains in importance again. The Gaia hypothesis, a concept most popular in the 1970s, asks for a different thinking with and about earth and climate change. Following Isabelle Stengers description of two histories, both steering towards collapse – one being the capitalist history of endless growth and progress, the other the fatalistic history of environmental collapse and limited resources – she suggests giving a name to this most and foremost urgent situation. Though Gaia can be conceived as a being (un être) intruding our lives she still is “a ticklish assemblage of forces that are indifferent to our reasons and our projects”. So maybe Gaia is not so much just a name but more a suggestion or signature of our current situation and of “what makes us think and lets us imagine”. It is a narrative of the now.

In the workshop we want to unfold the map around the Gaia hypothesis, look at its implications for concepts of time and history. Without following Gaia’s supposedly spiritualist connection, let us question and ground its hypothesis: How is it connected to everyday life? What might be an alternative to the current eco-capitalist realism? How to exit control phantasms of cybernetic ghosts and look for (un-)scalable cosmologies in the face of Gaia?

A more detailed programme and suggested reading will be mailed out to all participants mid-March.

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texture (Jakob Claus, Niklas Egberts, Moritz Klein, Hannah Schmedes, Yannick Schütte)

As part of “Defragmentation – Curating Contemporary Music”
A project of the German Federal Cultural Foundation and Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt (IMD) / Darmstädter Ferienkurse, Donaueschinger Musiktage, MaerzMusik – Festival for Time Issues and in cooperation with the Ultima Festival Oslo