The symposium and annual conference of the CRC 1265, ‘Spatial Figures in the Anthropocene’, explores how the concept and reality of the Anthropocene disfigure and refigure four key spatial figures of Western modernity: the place, the territory, the network, and the route.

Engagements with climate change and the planetary in the social sciences and humanities have challenged conventional analytical distinctions between global and local as well as human and nonhuman spaces. Tim Morton’s (2013) influential conceptualization of global warming as a hyperobject emphasizes how it transcends human scales of time-space experience and action, thus becoming a viscous, non-local process. At the same time, authors like Bruno Latour (2017) point out the inadequacy of the modern figure of globalization and of understanding the Earth as a globe. In times of climate crisis, he argues, the Earth emerges as Gaia: not a super-organism or system, but rather a rhizome of organism-environment relationships. As these two interventions exemplify, the multiple environmental and planetary crises associated with the Anthropocene fundamentally challenge the scalar logic and figures of modern understandings of space.

Facilitating an interdisciplinary conversation about these transformations seems crucial because of the pervasiveness of spatial categories and imaginaries. The symposium thus brings together leading scholars from anthropology, sociology, architectural theory, science and technology studies, urban studies, and human geography to collectively meet these challenges while reaching a heterogeneous public audience of researchers and practitioners.

In English

9:30 Registration
10:00 Welcome and Morning Lecture (Livestream available)

Ignacio Farías (Berlin) and Silke Steets (Erlangen-Nürnberg)
Spatial Figures in the Anthropocene

11:00 Panel I – The Refiguration of Territories
(Livestream available)
moderated by Ignacio Castillo Ulloa

Gastón Gordillo (Vancouver)
Place, Territory, Terrain: A Spatial Triad for the Climate Crisis

Alexandra Arènes (Paris)
TERRA FORMA Connectedness: From Territory to the Terrestrial

13:00 Lunch break

14:00 Panel II – The Refiguration of Places
(Livestream available)
moderated by Nina Baur

Tomás Usón (Berlin)
Beyond Place: Encountering Difference in Disastrous Times

Susanne Hauser (Berlin)
Rethinking Place in Architecture, 1980ff.

16:00 Coffee break

16:30 Coffee Conversations

Theory: Anthropocene and Decolonial Theory
with Marcela Suárez Estrada, moderated by Sung Un Gang
Methods: Speculation as Method
with Alexandra Arènes, moderated by Jörg Stollmann
Current Affairs: Mobilities in and of the Anthropocene
with Andrew Baldwin, moderated by Francesca Ceola

18:30 Break

19:00 Lecture and Art Installation – Refiguring Botanical Gardens
moderated by Martina Löw

Séverine Marguin and Jamie-Scott Baxter (Berlin)
Mimetic Spaces: Botanical Gardens in a Shifting Conservation Regime

Digital Art Installation: Diffracting Natures
(Spatial Refigurations in the Metaverse)
by Séverine Marguin and Jamie-Scott Baxter in cooperation with the artist-architect Lus Constantin

20:00 Reception

9:30 Panel III – The Refiguration of Networks
moderated by Anna Juliane Heinrich

Jennifer Gabrys (Cambridge) online
Animating Digital Infrastructures: From Networks to Phygitalities

Marcela Suárez Estrada (Berlin/Berkeley)
Internet as a Territory: Power and Colonialism in the Digital Era

11:30 Coffee Conversations

Theory: Racialized Geographies of Climate Justice
with Gastón Gordillo, moderated by Zozan Baran
Methods: Engaging Indigenous Knowledges
with Tomás Usón, moderated by Margherita Tess
Current Affairs: Managing Nuclear Waste
with Susanne Hauser, moderated by Vivien Sommer

12:30 Lunch break

14:00 Panel IV – The Refiguration of Routes
(Livestream available)
moderated by Sezgin Sönmez

Christopher Kelty (Los Angeles):
Helicopter, Overpass, Non-target: Figuring Pathways in Los Angeles

Andrew Baldwin (Durham)
Mobility and the Anthropocene: Rethinking the Route via the Planetary

16:00 Coffee break

16:30 Panel Discussion – After the Local – After the Global? (Livestream available) moderated by Jochen Kibel
with Martina Löw (Berlin), Philipp Misselwitz (Berlin), Christopher Kelty (Los Angeles)

18:00 Break

19:00 Book Presentation and Lecture Performance – An Atlas of Spatial Figures moderated by Hubert Knoblauch
with Ignacio Farías (Berlin), Nikolaus Gansterer (Vienna), Silke Steets (Erlangen-Nürnberg)


Alexandra Arènes
Andrew Baldwin
Jennifer Gabrys
Gastón Gordillo
Susanne Hauser
Christopher Kelty
Marcela Suárez Estrada
Tomás Usón

Organized by

Ignacio Farías and Silke Steets for the Collaborative Research Center ‘Re-Figuration of Spaces’ (CRC 1265) in collaboration with the ICI Berlin

KV Spatial Figures