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GLOBALE: Next Society – Facing Gaia

02 March 2016

Fri, 15.04.2016 - Sat, 16.04.2016


Venue: ZKM Atrium 8 + 9, ZKM Atrium 1 + 2, ZKM_Cube

Free entry

Registration for Fri, April 15 is mandatory and limited to 150 persons. Please register by sending an E-Mail to by Fri, April 1, 2016.

The epilogue of the GLOBALE is the "Next Society – Facing Gaia" symposium, which will examine the current state of the Earth and the related question of how the world’s population will live and want to live in the future.

The Gaia hypothesis was formulated by the scientist and inventor James Lovelock. The least that can be said is that he was not lucky with it. By comparing this ancient Greek myth with the fragile and complex system through which living organisms change the Earth, some thought that he was talking about a unique organism, a giant thermostat, or even about Divine Providence. All of which could not have been further than what he was actually trying to propose. Gaia is not the world, the motherland, or a pagan goddess, and neither is it the Nature that we picture since the seventeenth century, the Nature that serves as a mirror of human subjectivity. The Nature that has formed the background for our actions.

However, because of human history’s unanticipated effects, what we had gathered together under the name of Nature left the background and gone on stage. The air, the oceans, the glaciers, the climate, the land – everything we have made unstable interacts with us. We have entered geohistory. It’s the era of Anthropocene – with the risk of a war where everyone is pitted against everyone else.

The old Nature vanishes and leaves space for an entity whose expressions are difficult to predict. This entity, far from being stable and reassuring, seems to be constituted of feedback loops that are in constant disruption. Gaia is the name that suits it best. Through the exploration of the thousands of forms of Gaia, we can untangle what the notion of Nature had intermingled: ethics, politics, a strange conception of science and, above all, an economy and even a theology.

This symposium will accompany the exhibition "Reset Modernity!" It will deal with the procedures undertaken i to recalibrate a set of measuring instruments which have become incapable of capturing the signals that they are supposed to register. Except that the concern here is far more complex than recalibrating a simple tool – its intention is to reset the notion of Modernity!

The symposium language is English.


Friday, April 15, 2016: Exchange Sessions | Saturday, April 16, 2016: Panels & Round table

Exchange Sessions

(11 am–1 pm & 2–4:30 pm at the "Reset Modernity!" exhibition space [ZKM_Atrium 8 + 9])

Registration is mandatory and limited to 150 persons. Please register by sending an email to by 01.04.2016.

The format of this session questions the notion of a "public" in the exhibition space. Rather than a formal conference in an auditorium, visitors will be invited to come to the show and experiment with the various sections of the exhibition. According to John Dewey, the public in this case is not considered as a preexisting entity. The notion of a "public" implies a community emerging from inquirers, interacting with a specific issue and, in return, giving it a more public character.

During this session, there will be six different point of exchange. People will be able to listen, participate, and aggregate freely around them.
This experiment will gather together several invited artists and scholars and will be facilitated by the SPEAP (School of Political Arts) collective, who will be in charge of inventing formats of exchange, facilitating dialogues, raising questions, moderating debates, and setting up the internal structure of the exchange session.

11 am–1 pm & 2–4:30 pm: Exchange Sessions

Meeting Point 1 Relocalizing the Global How to deflate the notion of "global"? And, instead consider the fact that a "global" network is local in all its points?

Meeting Point 2 Without the World or Within How to revisit the typically modern division between subject and object? And instead develop an account in which the position of the "observer" and the "thing observed" are both immersed in the flow of experience?

Meeting Point 3 What Happens to the Sublime? If we move to a new climate regime, is it still possible to feel the sublime?

Meeting Point 4 The Return of Limits and Borders? How could the Moderns absorb the discovery of limits without falling back on the notion of borders and identities?

Meeting Point 5 Secular at Last The common idea of modernity is that religion has become private, and that politics is in the public space, forming a specific political theology. In the current context, how could we redefine the notion of the secular?

Meeting Point 6 Technology without "Hype" How to shift our perception of technology from object to project?

5–6 pm Dialogue between "Reset Modernity!" und "New Sensorium"

Curators talk Bruno Latour and Yuko Hasegawa in the "New Sensorium" exhibition space (ZKM_Atrium 1 + 2)

Saturday, April 16, 2016: Panels & Round table

(from 11 am at the ZKM_Cube) Based on the exchange sessions of Friday the two panels and the round table discussion explore the topics related to the exhibition "Reset Modernity!" through short presentations of speakers of different disciplines, including Frédérique Ait Touati, Franco Farinelli, Peter Galison, Graham Harman, Dorothea Heinz, Ralph Rugoff. Full list of speakers to be announced soon.

from 11 am Panels and Round table

11 am–1 pm Which Aesthetic for the Gaïa Hypothesis? Keynote by Bruno Latour

2–3:30 pm Reset vs. Revolution How could we escape from the modernist metaphors of new beginnings?

Keynote by Peter Weibel

3:30–4 pm Coffee break

4–5:30 pm Round table discussion Moderation: Bruno Latour

Bruno Latour (Curator)Peter Weibel (Curator)
Organization / Institution
ZKM | Karlsruhe

A projekt as part of the city birthday – 300 years Karlsruhe –

External Resources:

“GLOBALE: Next Society – Facing Gaia | 15.04.2016 (All Day) to 16.04.2016 (All Day) | ZKM.” Accessed March 2, 2016.

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