December 14, 2014

Learning How to Die in the Anthropocene

Roy Scranton read an extract from his forthcoming book Learning To Die in the Anthropocene (City Lights, Fall 2015). Roy served in the United States Army from 2002 to 2006. He is a doctoral candidate in English at Princeton University and has written for The New York Times, Boston Review, Rolling Stone.


January 25, 2015
Practices for Turning into the Anthropocene
Smudge Studio presented recent work that senses that our most essential and urgent task as artists and humans is to discover and enact new practices of acknowledging and living in responsive relationship to emerging planetary realities. They have begun to design and cultivate practices that support us in maintaining nuanced acceptance of the fast that intense material changes are taking place on a global scale — without leaving us reeling in states of distraction or despair.

February 22, 2015
Love in the Anthropocene
Dale Jamieson, professor of environmental studies and philosophy at NYU and director of the Animal Studies Initiative, read a short story from his forthcoming book Love in the Anthropocene (co-written with Bonnie Nadzam, OR books, Fall 2015). Love in the Anthropocene is a work of fiction rooted in fact: six stories imagining aspects of a world transformed by human action. This collaboration between a philosopher and artist is a unique and thrilling attempt to depict the era of the Anthropocene, and to communicate its consequences in a viscerally understandable way.

March 22, 2015
Oranges in the Anthropocene
Amy Harmon, national correspondent for the New York Times, discussed her recent three-part series The Facts About GMOs. Amy covers the impact of science and technology on American life. She has won two Pulitzer Prizes, one for her series, The DNA Age. Her series of articles on the gap between the public’s negative perception of genetically engineered crops (GMOs) and the scientific evidence of their safety generated controversy on Twitter and elsewhere. Her article, A Race to Save the Orange by Altering Its DNA, won the 2014 Science in Society award from the National Association of Science Writers, and was included in the anthology, Best Science and Nature Writing 2014.

April 12, 2015
Shame in the Anthropocene
Jennifer Jacquet, an environmental social scientist at NYU, discussed her new book Is Shame Necessary? New Uses for an Old Tool. What makes shaming more or less effective or acceptable? Given the reach, speed, and accessibility of social media, many people have the power to expose individuals or groups to public disapproval, and everyone has the possibility of becoming shame’s victim. Understanding the complexity and mechanics of shaming is important for everyone - artists, politicians, activists, journalists, lawyers, scientists, and anyone wishing to be an engaged citizen or a prudent member of shame’s audience. Jennifer discussed the role of shame in government policy, as well as its potential use against institutions and even governments. Shame might help effectively tackle large-scale social dilemmas, like tax havens and climate change.

April 26, 2015
Geoengineering in the Anthropocene
Holly Jean Buck, PhD student in Development Sociology at Cornell University asks why would anyone discuss the idea of intentionally modifying the climate, given all the reasons it is obviously a bad idea? We looked at the risks and opportunities of some of the proposed geoengineering techniques, reviewing the current state of the science. Can there be a "best-case" geoengineering? Is it compatible with climate justice? How can public participation in climate engineering decisions happen? And what can climate engineering tell us about life and culture in the Anthropocene?

May 17, 2015
Language in the Anthropocene *
Irene Kopelman (artist) discussed her use of drawing as a language and tool on her field-trips and in her art practice; that is drawing not only as a visual medium but as a way of accessing knowledge and engaging with contextual conditions and situations. Sasha Engelmann (creative greographer) and Jol Thomson (creative researcher) presented some reflections on a series of educational experiments they have been carrying out at the Institut fur Architekturebezogene Kunst at TU Braunschweig. They proposed possible modes of approaching, articulating and recording the elemental tremors and forms of geo-cosmic data made explicit and relevant in the Anthropocene.
Ida Bencke (editor) gave an introduction to the current BDP exhibition and publication project: Parapoetics - a Literature beyond the Human.She introduced the first project in the series; About Trees by Katie Holten.
This salon was hosted by Büro BDP in Berlin, Germany.

September 20, 2015
Informal public salon
A conversation with Will Corwin, Amy Harmon, Katie Holten, Prem Krishnamurthy, E.J. McAdams, Rachel Sussman and Aengus Woods to celebrate the book launch of About Trees.
This informal salon was hosted by the NY Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1.

December, 2015
In Search of Lost Worlds: Remembering the Anthropocene
A conversation with Roy Scranton. The apocalypse has already happened. The Anthropocene is already history. Already we live in a post-climate-change world. The converastion reflected on climatic and cultural adaptations and changes over the past year and past 500 years, thinking the Anthropocene from 1610 to 1945 to 2016. Could there be anything more human, after all, than to be late to our own doom?

November, 2016
A conversation with Molly Parent (826 Valencia), Susan Schwartzenberg (Bay Observatory), Stephen Sparks (Green Apple Books), Mike Sullivan (Friends of the Urban Forest). This informal salon was hosted by Green Apple Books in San Francisco.

December 17, 2016, 6pm
War and Peace in the Anthropocene
A conversation with Gregory Schwedock, Sashti Balasundaram, Paul Miller at Forward Union, 714 Broadway, NYC

February 19, 2017
Storytelling  in the Anthropocene
An informal salon hosted by the Abrons Arts Center, NYC



Spring 2017
Sanitation in the Anthropocene
Field trip to Freshkills Park, Staten Island, NYC



GUESTS have included Marielle Anzelone, Janet Biggs, Julien Bismuth, Samuel Bordreuil, Laura Ballantyne-Brodie, Ida Bencke, Holly Jean Buck, Laurence Chalude, Lucian Cohen, Will Corwin, Meehan Crist, Elizabeth Ellsworth, Sasha Engelmann, Rebecca Fowler, Amy Harmon, Mark Harris, Ellen Harvey, Laura Hoffmann, John Holten, Jennifer Jacquet, Dale Jamieson, Natalie Jeremijenko, Oliver Kellhammer, Irene Kopelman, Jamie Kruse, Carin Kuoni, Dana Levy, Chun Mei Li, Rose Lord, Marie Lorenz, E.J. McAdams, Belinda McKeon, Lori Mason, John Oakes, Jenny Offill, Sarah Resnick, Noah Riskin, Peter J. Russo, Roy Scranton, Georgia Seamans, Daniel Smith, Mari Spirito, Robert Sullivan, Rachel Sussman, Jol Thomson, Nicola Twilley, Althea Viafora-Kress, Aengus Woods.

Robert Sullivan's article in New York Magazine was inspired in part by a visit to our Sunday Salons.