Elizabeth Johnson

6-7 January 2020 // Repoliticizing the Anthropocene

Elizabeth Johnson is Assistant Professor of Human Geography at Durham
University. She is a writer, researcher, and educator studying how
new ties between the biosciences and technological innovation
are changing how we understand life in the context of environmental
precarity. She writes on developing fields like biomimicry, biosensing,
and biotechnology and their influence on how we inhabit our environment.
Currently, she is researching the interface between marine science and
policy with a focus on tensions between marine conservation and the
emerging Blue Economy. The work examines how marine organisms and the
materials extracted from them pass through, across, and into the
different ecological and epistemological worlds to figure in the
production of healthy publics, ecological futures, and promissory economies.

You can visit Elizabeth Johnson’s webpage here.

Scott Knowles

7 January 2020 (Tuesday), 18h30 // Keynote Lecture

Scott Knowles is a historian of modern cities, technology and public policy, with a particular focus on risk and disaster. His most recent book is The Disaster Experts: Mastering Risk in Modern America (UPenn Press, 2011) and he is series co-editor of “Critical Studies in Risk and Disaster” (UPenn Press, launch 2014). Presently, he is also a faculty research fellow of the Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware. Since 2011, he has been a member of the Fukushima Forum collaborative research community, with which he is currently co-authoring an edited volume on the Fukushima disasters. With Amy Slaton and Tiago Saraiva, he hosted the Anthropocene Campus Philadelphia at Drexel University in 2017.

Brandon LaBelle

9—10 January 2020 // The Sonic Ecology of the Tourist City

Brandon LaBelle is an artist, writer and theorist working with questions of social life and cultural agency, using sound, performance, text and sited constructions. He develops and presents artistic projects and performances within a range of international contexts, often working in public and with others. This leads to interventions and performative installations, archival work, and micro-actions aimed at the sphere of the (un)common and the unlikely. He is also an active lecturer working with institutions around the world addressing questions of auditory culture, sonic and spatial practices, the voice and the politics of listening. Since 2011 he works as a Professor at The Art Academy – Department of Contemporary Art, University of Bergen, Norway. Current research projects focus on citizen practices, sonic agency and auditory knowledge, and the aesthetics and politics of invisibility.

As a sound artist his works have been presented in galleries and major exhibitions throughout the world (more recently Kunsthall 3,14, Bergen (2018), La Tabacalera, Madrid (2017), Documenta 14, Athens (2017), South London Gallery (2016)) and has various audio releases on international experimental labels, and regularly produces works for radio, notably Documenta / Savvy Funk, Berlin (2017), Radio Reina Sofia (2016), Kunstradio in Vienna (1999, 2001, 2007, 2009) and Deutschland Radio (2009).*

His latest book, “Sonic Agency: Sound and Emergent Forms of Resistance” (Goldsmiths / MIT Press, London, 2018), asks the question of how current social and political crisis can be approached through sonic thought and imagination, and inquires on the possibilities of sound and listening as vehicles for resistance, citizenship and political action.

*Taken from Brandon LaBelle’s website: https://www.brandonlabelle.net/index.html

ateliermob / working with the 99%

Ateliermob is a multidisciplinary platform for the development of ideas, research and projects in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, design and urbanism. It was founded in 2005, in Lisbon, as the result of several works carried out independently by its founding partners. Currently, it is constituted by two partners – Andreia Salavessa and Tiago Mota Saraiva – who, alongside a team of a dozen other skilled professionals, associate, when possible, with external entities and technicians in order to enrich and broaden the spectrum of its multidisciplinary approach to architecture with the goal of best serving the specific needs of the communities they work with.

This approach contributed to the creation, in 2016, of the cooperative “Working with the 99%”, which aims to provide services in the fields of architecture, in projects of social and design intervention, urban and strategic planning, coordination and implementation of projects, as well as training. The research conducted through these activities aims to inform and better support the project-practice of the studio and is responsible for, among other things, maintaining an online architecture platform and conducting several architectural, design and urban planning projects in close proximity and collaboration with the dwellers of the environment being intervened.

ateliermob/working with the 99% has a regular presence in various forums and national and international networks such as the European ReKreators network, the Observatory of Mexico City, DLBC Lisbon Network, the laboratory of participatory practices developed in the region of Basilicata, in Italy, or the official representation of Portugal at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2014.

You can check ateliermob/working with the 99% website here

José Augusto Pádua

6—7 January 2020 // Anthropogenic Landscapes of Inequality

José Augusto Pádua is Full Professor of Brazilian Environmental History at the Institute of History, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and co-directs the Laboratory of History and Nature. He holds a BA in History, a M.Sc and a PhD in Political Science and a post-doctoral fellowship in History.  From 2010 to 2015, he was President of the Brazilian Association of Research and Graduate Studies on Environment and Society. He was a fellow of the Rachel Carson Centre for Environment and Society (Munich).  He was part of the team that designed the Museum of Tomorrow (Rio de Janeiro, 2016) and he is still a member of its scientific board. As expert in Environmental History and Politics he delivers lectures, courses and participates in field work in more than 40 countries. He publishes regularly in Brazil and abroad. His most recent works are J. A. Pádua, J. Soluri and C. Leal, eds., A Living Past: Environmental Histories of Modern Latin America, New York: Berghahn, 2018 and J. A. Pádua, “Brazil in the history of the Anthropocene” in Liz-Rejane Issberner, Philippe Léna, eds., Brazil in the Anthropocene Conflicts between predatory development and environmental policies, New York: Routledge, 2017.

Daniela Pinto

9—10 January 2020 // Funny Animals

Daniela Pinto holds a doctoral degree in microbiology from the University of Lisbon, Portugal. With the support of a Marie Curie IEF, in 2014 she joined the Ludwig- Maximilians University Munich (Germany) where she designed synthetic genetic circuits using transcription factors. In 2016 she joined the Technical University Dresden (Germany), where she is now a postdoctoral researcher. In the summer of 2018, she spent 3 months at the University of Copenhagen, where she studied the evolution of alternative σ factors under the support of an EMBO short-term fellowship. Her current research interests span several aspects of alternative σ factor biology: their diversity, activation mechanisms, evolution and synthetic biology applications. She is now planning to study the evolution of signal transduction systems and their role in the evolution of cognitive behavior in bacteria. Over the last 8 years, Daniela has published 14 papers in peer-reviewed international journals and is the first author in 10 of them. She is since 2018, a member of the basal cognition group, a group of international scientists that aims at tracing the biological mechanisms necessary for cognition, from bacteria to higher animals.

Aidan Koch

9—10 January 2020 // Funny Animals

Aidan Koch (Seattle, 1988) is an artist based in New York, whose multidisciplinary practice includes experimental graphic narratives. Her comics break down the medium to its minimal elements, tracing ambiguous visual and verbal fragments between the visible and absent, poetry and silence. Her works include recurring motifs, like artifacts from classical and ancient cultures, that move from Koch’s comics to her paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and textiles. In 2017, Koch created the Institute for Interspecies Art and Relations, where she mobilizes theory, ethics, and aesthetics in the production of knowledge about and public awareness of human-nonhuman relations. From her prolific career, the comic books The Whale (2010), The Blonde Woman (2012) and Impressions (2014) are among her best-know works, as well as multiple individual and group exhibitions in the United States and Europe.

Dipesh Chakrabarty

9 JANUARY 2020 (Thursday), 18h30 // Keynote Lecture

Ten years ago, historian Dipesh Chakrabarty published “The Climate of History: Four Theses,” the first of several Anthropocene-focused articles that proved to be as enduringly influential as they are controversial. Criticised for supporting a species-level universality that disregards class, race, and gender in the shaping of humanity’s ecological footprint, apparently at odds with his background in postcolonial theory, Chakrabarty’s “Four Theses” brought about an extensive discussion on who is the “Anthropos” in Anthropocene—and how the socio-economic and political divide between the global North and South factors into the interlocking threats endangering humans and non-humans on Earth. More recently, Chakrabarty has called for a shift in human modes of being and knowing, asking whether the humanities can “overcome their hallowed and deeply set human-centrism and learn to look at the human world also from nonhuman points of view”.

Dipesh Chakrabarty (1948, Calcutta, IN) is professor of History and South East Studies at Chicago University. The author of Provincializing Europe (2000) and a leading historian in the area of postcolonial studies, in the last decade he penned several influential articles on climate change and the Anthropocene, including “The Climate of History: Four Theses” (2009), “Postcolonial Studies and the Challenge of Climate Change” (2012), “Climate and Capital: On Conjoined Histories” (2014), and “Humanities in the Anthropocene: The Crisis of an Enduring Kantian Fable” (2016). In 2014, Chakrabarty received the Toynbee Prize in recognition of his significant contributions to global history.