Seminar Slow Media

Cluster Representing

Anthropocene Campus, Illustration: Benedikt Rugar

A Seminar by Reinhold Leinfelder, Libby Robin and Helmuth Trischler

Global knowledge is often packaged for the ‘fast and furious’ commercial media, or challenged by the democratic social media, but this module focused on a ‘third way’: the “slow media” (by analogy with the slow food movement), which engages with the complexities of a rapidly changing world by slowing down to the pace of a museum visit or engaging with physical or visual objects.

The idea of the Anthropocene demands thinking about a Long Now – not just one human lifetime, but several (seven generations is suggested by the Long Now foundation). To this we added the global imaginary – the Big Here – local is now planetary in scale. An Anthropocene imaginary demands a sense of global citizenship and a consciousness of an observer that includes their great-grandparents and their great-children.

Having a ‘global soul’ (to use PicoIyer’s term) and dwelling across generations stretches (and stresses) the human sense of self. The idea of doing such imagining at a slower pace in a physical place or with real objects, offers an alternative to the ‘sound bite’ approach to communicating complex ideas.

This seminar explored the power of slow media (such as museum objects and collections, of exhibits and of comic books) to engage with the big ideas of global change as well as visions for the future. The seminar aimed to offer tools for people working in museums or seeking alternate ways to educate students and citizens to think about global change and ways of living in the Anthropocene.

Listen to the Resumee Session on the Seminar “Slow Media”.

See also the case study on “Slow Media” presented during the opening weekend of the Campus by Libby Robin and Helmuth Trischler.