Anthropocene

titelfoto mississippi projekt ©

An Anthropocene River is a model project at the interface between the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities and artistic research. It is dedicated to the collaborative development of new, transdisciplinary methods of knowledge production in the face of the challenges of the "Age of Man". The project is based on the long-term initiative Anthropocene Curriculum, jointly sponsored by the House of World Cultures (HKW) and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG, Berlin). Together with a number of renowned international partners, the research and education project investigates the changed conditions and creative possibilities of current knowledge production and develops new, adequate forms of knowledge transfer.
 

The goal of the project is to explore and document the Mississippi River in its altered spatio-temporal formations and to make this archival-like landscape accessible to a wider academic and social public. Through the project, the river valley becomes visible as a critical zone of settlement and long-term interaction between man and the environment. Over the course of one year, five transdisciplinary groups of researchers, artists and stakeholders will develop local approaches to questions of global change. Experimental and educational methods will be used to study the very special anthropocene geography of the Mississippi watershed on site.

The project is based on the long-term initiative Anthropocene Curriculum, jointly sponsored by the House of World Cultures (HKW) and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG, Berlin).
Together with a number of renowned international partners, the research and education project investigates the changed conditions and creative possibilities of current knowledge production and develops new, adequate forms of knowledge transfer.
The aim of the project is to explore and document the Mississippi region in its altered spatio-temporal formations and to make this archival-like landscape accessible to a wider academic and social public. Through the project, the river valley becomes visible as a critical zone of settlement and long-term interaction between man and the environment. Over the course of one year, five transdisciplinary groups of researchers, artists and stakeholders will develop local approaches to questions of global change. Experimental and educational methods will be used to study the very special anthropocene geography of the Mississippi watershed on site.
 

Field Stations

Sketch Mississippi © Goethe-Institut

Field Station 2

Anthropocene Drift compares two very different landscapes. 
The first of these landscapes is located in the Kickapoo River Valley in southwestern Wisconsin and is part of a larger region known as the Driftless Area. Picturesque hills are as much at home here as sustainable agriculture. 
Just south of it, to the left and right of the Mississippi River, you'll find a very different picture: as far as the eye can see, flat, straight fields with monocultures, an area known as the Corn Belt.

Kanus on the Mississippi © Goethe-Institut

Field Station 4

As a central axis through the real and mythical America, the Mississippi creates a particularly heterogeneous space where nature, culture and history intersect in a unique way. Confluence Ecologies moved in the "Confluence Territory", where the Mississippi and Ohio rivers (in southern Illinois and western Kentucky) meet. This field station presented an in-depth exploration of opioid addiction and our dependence on coal and nuclear power, issues of native species loss and invasive replacement, animal labor and ethical questions of future terraforming and historic geoengineering initiatives. According to these research aspects, Field Station 4 consisted of six individual projects.

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