The Anthropocene Project. An Encyclopedia

Forensic digs, encyclopedic glossary, cybernetic control: the Anthropocene wants to know! With the natural sciences and humanities, aesthetic experience and artistic research embracing nearly everything, the Anthropocene seems to be a great deal about knowledge and understanding. But what about our tendency towards “not wanting to know,” towards stupefaction, towards escapism? Has it disappeared, just because theoretically there is no longer an outside and practically no other habitable planet to which we could flee? While the counterculture fled to an endless inner world by way of psychedelics, drugs, spiritualism, or self-optimization, for the Afrofuturist artist Sun Ra the real world is long past; he lives an alternative life in a myth and on Saturn. In light of the stubbornness with which Sun Ra insists on his extra-real existence, it can hardly be called escapist, while the temporary dropouts in Californian communes have to face up to the accusation. Fleeing from knowledge doesn’t necessarily lead to pleasant worlds of harmony, and equally so, a bit of stupidity, dream world, or fantasy can’t hurt reality. Is it not the scientist or academic, hungry for knowledge, who ends up in the ivory tower cut off from the real world?