How to Live in the Anthropocene

Ilkka Halso, Kitka River (aus der Serie Museum of Nature), 2004
Darren Almond, Fullmoon@Cerro Chalten, 2013

THU 05.10.17, 17:00-20:00

In connection with the exhibition Visions of Nature the Natural History Museum Vienna and KUNST HAUS WIEN will host a Symposium on the topic of the "Anthropocene".


  • "Das Anthropozän als mögliches Erdzeitalter aus geologischer Sicht"
    Christian Köberl, Director General of the Natural History Museum Vienna, Professor of Impact Studies and Planetary Geology at the Department of Lithospheric Research at the University of Vienna, and Chairman of the Commission for Geoscience of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (in German)
  • "Labor und Museum: Ein Beitrag zur Anthropozändiskussion"
    Bernd Scherer, Director of Haus der Kulturen der Welt and Honorary Professor at the Institute for European Ethnology at Humboldt-Universität Berlin (in German)
  • "Capitalocene Violence and Photography"
    T. J. Demos, Professor of History of Art and Visual Culture at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Founding Director of the Center for Creative Ecologies (in English, via Skype from California)

    Moderator: Verena Kaspar-Eisert, curator of Visions of Nature, KUNST HAUS WIEN

Panel Discussion (in English)
  • Maya Byskov, curator of The Independent AIR
  • Jennifer Colten, artist in the exhibition Visions of Nature (Wasteland Ecology)
  • Verena Kaspar-Eisert
  • Christian Köberl
  • Bernd Scherer

    Moderator: Walter Seidl, freelance curator and art critic

The symposium How to Live in the Anthropocene explores the question of how the natural-scientific theory of a new human-shaped geological age, the Anthropocene, is expressed in social, philosophical, and cultural discussions or in works of art, and how it reverberates in our perception of nature and our existence in this world.

The relationship between humans and nature is in constant flux. Today, we no longer talk about culture–nature and humans–environment as opposites; rather, our awareness of the interdependencies of all earthly processes has taken deep roots in people’s minds. “Earth is no longer a stable environment, no longer a stage set or mere resource for our actions; it has become part of a more extensive drama in which people and things participate equally,” Jürgen Renn and Bernd Scherer write in their introduction to the 2015 book Das Anthropozän. Zum Stand der Dinge, which they edited. We no longer understand nature as a mere theater for our human existence and our “human operations”.
This new consciousness and the heightened awareness of relationships between humans and their environment are currently comprehensively negotiated using the concept of the “Anthropocene”—the entry into a new geological age that is influenced (and named after) humans. The term “Anthropocene” was introduced into academic discourse in 2002 by the atmospheric chemist and Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen, together with Eugene F. Stoermer, to denote a geological age in which humans have become the defining influence on geological, ecological, and atmospheric processes—an age characterized by serious changes in, and durable reconfigurations of, our environment. While the natural scientific debate revolves around pinpointing a geological reality, philosophical and artistic explorations of the Anthropocene mainly negotiate the changing relationship between humans and nature. “Basically, the idea of the Anthropocene makes clear that human history is only part of a larger planetary history. Yet this insight doesn’t get us very far in overcoming the unavoidable subjectivity and the equally unavoidable differences in our perspectives on this relationship” (Jürgen Renn, Bernd Schäfer)

DATE: Thursday, 05.10.17, 17:00-20:00

Free admission
Please register at

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