Exhibition

07 February–26 April 2015

Anthropocene Observatory

Armin Linke, Territorial Agency, and Anselm Franke, Anthropocene Observatory, installation view. Photo: Tom Janssen

Anthropocene Observatory, which takes place at BAK from 7 February–26 April 2015, is a research exhibition and discursive environment that proposes to rethink the contemporary world through the prism of the “Anthropocene thesis.” The Anthropocene is understood as an epoch in geological chronology during which the global impact of human activities is inscribed onto planet Earth. This geohistorical era—marked by the domination of the human species—has brought along transformations that bear unprecedented consequences for all facets of our present and future. Through what ways of looking and knowing, of feeling and being, can we assess these radically altered circumstances? What (future) vocabularies of politics, science, and art might enable us to knowenvision, and do things otherwise?

Developed by Territorial Agency (headed by the London-based duo of architects and urbanists John Palmesino and Ann-Sofi Rönnskog) in collaboration with Berlin-based artist Armin Linke and curator Anselm Franke, Anthropocene Observatory forms a complex knowledge archive and study environment that gestures towards ways of approaching these questions. Functioning as an observatory, it puts forth the data and knowledges collected and generated over the course of the last two years, offering them up for public inquiry and critical exploration, so as to probe how the Anthropocene thesis is being recognized and disputed, embraced and discredited, negated and applied across a wide spectrum of scientific, political, and cultural contexts.

Consisting of films, interviews, printed documents, and installations that uncover issues ranging from spatial and territorial modelling to climate change and environmental politics to applied systems analysis to supranational power operations and their institutions, Anthropocene Observatory attempts to image and reconstruct the tangled interrelationships between geology and political history. By making visible how the capitalist world-system is interlocked with the rapid transformation of the Earth system—how changing sources of energy correlate with particular political, legal, managerial, and spatial orders, from city-states dependent on wood, to imperial reliance on the harvesting and uneven distribution of coal, to the global constellation’s dependency on fossil fuels and nuclear energy—the project asks whether the extant infrastructure of knowledge, politics, science, and art is adequate in meeting these colossal challenges. Anthropocene Observatory urges us to not leave these issues unaddressed.

Anthropocene Observatory is made possible with support from Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin. For more information on the Anthropocene Observatory at HKW, please click here.


Acquisition of Anthropocene Observatory by Centraal Museum

BAK co-produced the Anthropocene Observatory, and brings it to the Netherlands for the first time ever. The collaboration between BAK and Centraal Museum titled Future Collections has led to an acquisition of a key work from Anthropocene Observatory for the Museum collection. The work consists of a video-diptych that focuses on the distinct Dutch practices of water management and coastal protection, as well as a series of filmed research interviews on climate change. The acquisition thus assures the presence of a work around one of the most crucial themes of our era for the public in Utrecht and beyond. The collaboration between BAK and Centraal Museum, Utrecht, has been made possible by the DOEN Foundation, Amsterdam. The acquisition of Anthropocene Observatory has been made possible by the Mondriaan Foundation, Amsterdam.

 

In collaboration with

Suggestions from the archive

13 March, 19.30–14 March, 22.00 2020

European Forum for Advanced Practices (EFAP) at BAK [WILL NOT TAKE PLACE]

Including two public programs with Paul Goodwin, Ima-Abasi Okon, Abbas Zahedi, Jihan El-Tahri, Irit Rogoff, Florian Schneider, and Maria Hlavajova

[WILL NOT TAKE PLACE | Update 12/3: unfortunately these EFAP presentations will not take place.]

Come to BAK on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 March for two public programs as part of the European Forum for Advanced Practices (EFAP), a self-organized, international gathering of practitioners, scholars, and organizers from transdisciplinary realms of art and education. With, on the Friday, a conversation between Paul Goodwin, Ima-Abasi Okon, and Abbas Zahedi; and on the Saturday a screening and a lecture by Jihan El-Tahri. With introductions by Irit Rogoff, Florian Schneider, and Maria Hlavajova.

Gathering

7 March 2020, 20.00-23.00

BAK, basis voor Yallah Sabaya

Special International Women's Day edition

On Saturday 7 March 2020 BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht hosts a special International Women’s Day edition of Yallah Sabaya! Yallah Sabaya (“Come ladies! Enjoy yourselves!” in Arabic) is a special evening where dance and music connect women from all over the world. All women, no matter where they are from, are welcome on […]

Public Studies

19 March, 15.00–21 March, 18.00 2020

Public Studies: Practice as Theory [CANCELLED]

A three day workshop with artist Tony Cokes, in the framework of exhibition Tony Cokes: To Live as Equals

[UPDATE 13 March: We are sad to announce that, in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, this event is now cancelled for 19-21 March – we are looking into postponing it and will update our website and social media as soon as we know more]. As a part of the exhibition Tony Cokes: To Live as […]

Tour