Apr 25–27, 2019

Life Forms

Art, Discourse, Performance

April 25–27, 2019

Is it possible to grasp the world at the planetary-scale? Between the climatic shifts of the Earth, cultural, political, and economic tumult, the increasing entanglement of human culture, natural environments, and global-scale technologies is difficult to comprehend.

In the Anthropocene, technologies increasingly determine what forms of existence are possible on Earth. They shape the world from satellite networks to domestic care techniques to cultural forms of expression to self-organizing bacteria, thereby challenging established worldviews and the values these are based upon. And with this rift in understanding, the thickness of the contemporary global situation careens toward a future, in which natural evolutions, humans and their technologies each vie for organizational prominence, but with many of us on earth having little to no means for steering it. How is it that we can produce new forms of action that enable us to steer these dynamics? And what forms could life take within the frame of these actions?

Between discursive and artistic formats, the three-day program of Life Forms experiments with the Gestaltung of current and future forms of life. It navigates the many interrelationships between “life” and “form,” their different understandings in science and society as well as the underlying problematics that they generate in our ability to understand and act within our current planetary conditions. Together with participants from various fields, science historian Sophia Roosth explores different approaches to the notion “lifeforms” in research conversations set amid the choreography of Xavier Le Roy and Scarlet Yu. Discussion, performance, image, and sound will organize a constantly changing landscape anchored by a set of questions. Jointly, artists, scientists, practitioners and theoreticians explore possibilities for collective action and shared practices that enable dealing with these conditions for life on earth.

With contributions by Lisa Baraitser, Luis Campos, Maria Chehonadskih, Louis Chude-Sokei, continent., Hu Fang, Maya Indira Ganesh, Wesley Goatley, Melody Jue, Noël Yeh Martin, Luciana Parisi, Sascha Pohflepp, Elizabeth A. Povinelli, Marina Rosenfeld, Kaushik Sunder Rajan, Jenna Sutela, Bronislaw Szerszynski, Gary Tomlinson, John Tresch

Concept and realization: Katrin Klingan, Nick Houde, Janek Müller, Johanna Schindler, Christoph Rosol in collaboration with Bernard Geoghegan

Life Forms is the last event of the research project Technosphere, which has been dealing with the dilemma of global technology and its identity since 2015.