Monday, December 7, 2015, 7pm
The Anthropogenic Image
HEAD, Boulevard Helvétique 9, 1205 Geneva, seminar room CCC, salle 27, 2nd floor
How can we read planetary effects of human activities by visual means? What does the image look like that tries to render visible global infrastructures which cannot be captured in a single shot? What are the responsibilities of the artist as a filmmaker, photographer, conference observer, traveler, reporter, researcher and/or collaborator to make public the complexities of living inside of environmental change? Why do we need to re-think the image and image-technologies when we try to understand the role of the image as situated between means of science, NGO-politics, multinational corporations and political institutions? Do images of environmental change of anthropogenic conditions bear any special capacity to pry open the grip of “spectacle,” understood as a totality of images become system of social control? Is there a possible image, at all and after all, that enables us to read the Anthropocene of a city like Geneva?
Armin Linke will present his exhibition “The Appearance of That Which Cannot be Seen” which is currently on display at ZKM Karlsruhe and part of the GLOBALE project. For “The Appearance of That Which Cannot Be Seen”, scientists, theorists and cultural anthropologists were invited to engage with Linke’s photographic archive, now comprising more than twenty thousand images documenting the effects of globalization, the transformation of cities into megacities, and the interconnectedness of post-industrial society resulting from digital information and communication technology. By making their image-selection process transparent, the project thematises both the readability of photographic archives and the subjective treatment of themes such as globalization and digitalization, considering the individual nature of research approaches and interests. At the interface between the physical and digital world, between exo-evolution and infosphere, Linke’s contribution, presented in the exhibitions Infosphere and Reset Modernity! by Bruno Latour, focuses our attention on pivotal topics such as smart technology, big data, climate change and Industry 4.0. Furthermore, Linke will briefly elaborate on questions emerging from his new individual film project that departs from the collaborative long-term project “Anthropocene Observatory” (with Territorial Agency and Anselm Franke); part of his research work is the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) currently taking place in Paris, where Linke is registered photographer.
Armin Linke’s presentation will be commented by Gene Ray from The Anthropocene Atlas of Geneva, a research project reflecting on the interactions between social and biophysical systems and processes. Articulating methods and gathering practitioners from the disciplines of art, philosophy and architecture, the research project studies the processes and contexts by which anthropogenic global environmental change is represented in Geneva as the most cosmopolitan Swiss city as a global infrastructure.