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Planetary Futures – 3 credits

International Graduate Summer School

August 1–13, 2017

How shall we inhabit the catastrophe?

In the face of the current ecological crisis, how shall we rethink concepts and practices of environment, ecology, difference, and technology to envision and create a more just, sustainable, and diverse planet? The combined histories of colonialism, extraction industries, energy, as well as innovation in design, architecture, literature and technology offer a lens by which to examine how contemporary techno-scientific societies envision planetary futures.

Site visits exploring resource extraction, colonialism in urban policy and planning, and speculative architectural design will be accompanied by an analysis of science fiction, science technology, speculative design and ethnography, as well as life and earth sciences.

Audience

Local, national and international graduate students from various backgrounds, with a focus on arts and 
design, geography, ecology, anthropology, sociology, literary studies, and practitioners in design and the arts.

  
Led by:

  • Orit Halpern (Concordia University)
  • Pierre-Louis Patoine (Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3)
  • Marie-Pier Boucher (Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Art, Science and Technology, M. I. T.)
  • Perig Pitrou (CNRS / Collège de France)
  • Special invited quests from science fiction authors to artists and metereologists 

Picture courtesy of NASA / Bill Anders (public domain) Picture courtesy of NASA / Bill Anders (public domain)

 

December 24th 1968, outer space. Williams Anders, a member of the Apollo 8 mission, photographs the Earth rising on the lunar horizon: Earthrise. The picture becomes instantaneously famous, permeating every corner of popular culture. For the first time in its history, humanity can contemplate the unambiguous finitude of its habitat. Thus, a new consciousness is born: this limited planet might not be able to sustain unlimited growth. The expanding occupation of territories and the ruthless exploitation of natural resources, intensified by technical progress and the competitive logic of capitalism, might not lead to global happiness, but to global crisis.

In our present this crisis appears to have arrived. Loss, extinction, disaster, catastrophe, seem to define our situation in relationship to the environment, each other, and the other species inhabiting our earth.  This workshop will use the space of Montréal and Québec to begin asking how we might imagine, and design, a future earth without escaping or denying the ruins of the one we inhabit?  How shall we design and encounter the ineffable without denying history, colonialism, or normalizing violence?  What forms of knowledge and experiment might produce non-normative ecologies of care between life forms? How shall we inhabit the catastrophe?

This workshop will bring together the disciplines of the arts, humanities, social sciences, and sciences to collectively investigate this question of how we shall inhabit the world in the face of the current ecological crisis and to rethink concepts and practices of environment, ecology, difference, and technology to envision, and create, a more just, sustainable, and diverse planet.

The course will include field visits to extraction sites, energy infrastructures, earth science installations, and speculative architecture and design projects. 

Contact us

Email: antonia@cordltx.org

Location: 

1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd W., BLDG
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
H3G 1M8

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