Berlin, 2 Oct. The Technosphere, Now – Trauma @HKW

September 1st, 2015

Photo: Andreas Meichsner

With Rana Dasgupta, S. Løchlann Jain, Clapperton C. Mavhunga, Matteo Pasquinelli, Lucy A. Suchman

What happens when technology rivals nature in shaping the Earth? Starting with The Technosphere, Now, a four-year project investigates how social, environmental, and technological forces intertwine in the Anthropocene to form a technosphere. How can we learn to describe and understand artificial systems operating on par with other spheres such as the biosphere and develop modes of living in this new composite world?

Might our most intimate biological and psychic traumas also be where we stand closest to the technosphere? In this investigation we explore trauma as a way of understanding the impact of the technosphere on individual bodies, based on the premise that the technosphere body is disclosed in and through trauma. Novelist Rana Dasgupta will open up a panorama of individual bruises and traumas in globally networked technologies; anthropologist S. Løchlann Jain investigates animals, infrastructures, and death on the American frontier; historian Clapperton C. Mavhunga looks at how African revolutionary politics built new technological architectures around the trauma of colonial violence; philosopher Matteo Pasquinelli looks at how notions of trauma shaped early theories of the cybernetic brain; and ethnographer Lucy A. Suchman looks at what happens to the soldiers’ bodies in digital war. Taken together, these explorations offer a portrait of human frailty in and facing the technosphere, as well as a diagram of how global operations become manifest in local flesh.

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