Physically ingrained practices and routines are a subtle yet decisive precondition for perceiving, coherently grasping, and adequately responding to the more-than-human dynamics of a global environment in transition.
What is the fundamental idea behind the concept of the technosphere within its original context as an emergent component of the Earth system? What does it mean when technics create a system potent enough to intervene in and rival other geospheres?
infrastructure is both the epistemic and physical skeleton upon which the technosphere grows and proliferates. It provides the reasons behind how things are organized and makes such an organization possible in some sort of fixed capacity
The Phosphorus Apparatus tells the story of that circulation ‒ by tracing a network of technical, earthly, and cultural mediations by following the dramaturgies of modern civilization through past, present, and future.
How is the technosphere not only inscribed into the surface of the Earth but also in individuals, and how does it determine and shape the behavior of collectives? What kinds of injuries and frictions result from the engineering of our environments – and ourselves – along a complex machinery of instruments, techniques, and simulations?
Dr. S. Ayesha Hameed is a Lecturer in Visual Cultures and the Joint Programme Leader in Fine Art and History of Art Research Fellow in Forensic Architecture at Goldsmiths, London. She received her PhD in Social and Political Thought at York University, Canada in 2008
Dr. Ele Carpenter is a senior lecturer in curating at Goldsmiths, London. Her curatorial practice responds to interdisciplinary socio-political contexts such as the nuclear economy and the relationship between craft and code.
Jennifer Gabrys is Reader in the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Principal Investigator on the ERC-funded project, "Citizen Sense." Her publications include Digital Rubbish: A Natural History of Electronics (University of Michigan Press, 2011); and Program Earth: Environmental Sensing Technology and the Making of a Computational Planet (University of Minnesota Press, forthcoming).
Dr. Alexander Klose studied History, Law, Philosophy, Art, and Cultural Studies. From 2005-07 he held a scholarship at Bauhaus Universität Weimar for his PhD project on standardized containers used in transport as one of the leading material media in the 20th century.
Between 2009 and 2014 he worked as a research associate and programme developer at Kulturstiftung des Bundes. In 2015 in the forefront of COP 21, he co-curated Blackmarket for Useful Knowledge and Non-Knowledge No. 18 – On Becoming Earthlings: 150 dialogues and exercises in shrinking and expanding the Human at Musée de l'Homme, Paris. His latest publication is: The Container Principle. How a box changes the way we think (2015).
Laura McLean is a curator, artist, and writer based in London. She is a graduate of Goldsmiths College and Sydney College of the Arts, where she later lectured. She has also studied at Alberta College of Art and Design, and the Universität der Künste Berlin.
Anne-Sophie Milon is an artist and a freelance illustrator and animator working and living in Bristol, UK. After completing two Masters in Art, she has recently concluded the program of experimentation in Art and Politics at SciencesPo (SPEAP) in Paris.
Lizzie Stark is an author, journalist, and experience designer. She is the author of two books, Pandora’s DNA (2014), exploring so-called ‘breast cancer genes’ and her first book, Leaving Mundania (2012), which investigates the subculture of live action role play, or larp. Her journalism and essays have appeared in The Washington Post, the Daily Beast, The Today Show Website, io9, Fusion, the Philadelphia Inquirer and elsewhere. She holds an MS from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
She has organized numerous conventions and experiences across the US. Her most recent work is as a programming coordinator for Living Games Austin, and as co-editor and contributor for the #Feminism anthology, which collects 34 nano-games written by feminists from eleven countries.
ology of Science and Technology in the Department of Sociology at the University of Lancaster, UK. Her research interests within the field of feminist science and technology studies are focused on technological imaginaries and material practices
Bronislaw Szerszynski is a Reader in Sociology at Lancaster University in the UK. Szerszynski’s work has developed across several themes, including the role of Western religious history in shaping contemporary understandings of technology and the environment—typified by his book Nature, Technology and the Sacred (Wiley-Blackwell, 2005).
Dr. Katerina Teaiwa is Associate Professor at the Department of Gender, Media and Cultural Studies, School of Culture, History & Language and the president of the Australian Association for Pacific Studies. Her main area of research looks at the histories of phosphate mining in the central Pacific. Her work does not only span academic research, publications, and lectures, but also manifests itself in other formats within the arts and popular culture. Her work has inspired a permanent exhibition at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, which tells the story of Pacific phosphate mining through Banaban dance. In 2015, she published „Consuming Ocean Island: Stories of People and Phosphate from Banaba“, Indiana University Press. She is currently working with visual artist Yuki Kihara on a multimedia exhibition for Carriageworks in Sydney.
Dr. Jan Zalasiewicz is Professor of Palaeobiology at the University of Leicester and Chair of the Anthropocene Working Group of the International Commission on Stratigraphy. A field geologist, paleontologist, and stratigrapher, he teaches and publishes on geology and earth history, in particular on fossil ecosystems and environments that span over half a billion years of geological time.
Exploring the amorphous fabric of technologies, environments, and humans shaping Earth's critical future.
The technosphere is the defining matrix and main driver behind the ongoing transition of this planet into the new geological epoch of humankind, the Anthropocene. Stemming from the ubiquity of human culture and global technologies, it forms a new and highly dynamic component of the Earth system, amorphous in its gestalt yet powerful in altering the history of this planet and the conditions for life on it. Mobilizing and transforming massive amounts of materials and energy, it is comparable in scale and function to other terrestrial spheres such as the bio- and hydrosphere, with which it connects and intersects. Put differently, it constitutes a form of a higher ecology generated by the cumulative interweaving of technologies and natural environments to the point where both become inseparable.
Manifest since at least the mid-twentieth century with the onset of the “Great Acceleration,” the technosphere has now reached an enormous, not yet determinate potential to alter the surface of the Earth as well as its great depths – from the orbital level to the deep sea. Owing to the capability of a single species to actuate technics that radically transform our planet, the technosphere thus represents a steep rupture and a qualitative shift in the way our planet has functioned for millions of years. How does the technosphere operate? How does it reorganize and re-functionalize the physicality and chemistry of living and non-living matter? And how does it change the ways we perceive the world?
We see the technosphere concept as a thinking tool to crack open our current situation. This situation presents itself in the vertigo of larger-than human systems and the intractability of super-wicked problems. The technosphere presents a model to frame them meaningfully. Our ignorance about the character of the technosphere’s dynamics is a leading factor in the difficulty of developing a comprehensive approach to the planetary crises of the twenty-first century. Over the course of HKW’s Technosphere project (2015‒18), our team and interlocutors have and will continue to investigate its questions through public events, workshops, curricula, publications, and other research activities, hoping to reduce that gap and to develop descriptive capabilities for understanding and engaging with a highly dynamic, trans-technical world.
Technosphere Magazine maps out specific dimensions, condensations, aggregations, “apparatuses,” problematics, conflict zones, ruptures, and operational failures, through and by which the technosphere becomes visible. A growing conglomeration of topical dossiers embody the curatorial grasp and pathway of the Technosphere Magazine, portending trajectories, converging points, interweavings and hidden associations between distant fields of impact. The magazine will thereby act as a calibrating device, tying together all these approaches into an organ that can display and communicate the concept of the technosphere while affording a source from which the concept can be discussed, debated, and re-tooled in dynamic ways.
From autumn 2016 until spring 2019, Technosphere Magazine invites artist Nina Jäger to translate its subjects into collages. Each of her works enters into a conversation with the dossier it accompanies, speaks to its facets, topics, projections, or inherent imaginaries. Approaching its subjects via both their earthliness and the technical objects through which they are perceived, these artworks create an echo space of each dossier.
The collages are just one dimension of our ongoing collaboration with the experimental online journal continent., whose editorial team has continuously accompanied the Technosphere project throughout the years. Their work provides an indispensable expansion of perspective to the discourse around the technosphere, projecting yet another facet of its many contexts and manifestations.