The Geological Turn. Art and the Anthropocene

Interdisciplinary project by artist Gabo Guzzo formed in collaboration with atmospheric chemist and Nobel Laureate Paul Crutzen, artist Rasheed Araeen, professor TJ Demos and geologist Jan Zalasiewicz. The Geological Turn is the first artist-led project to address the concept of the Anthropocene.

From generation to generation the effect of human activities accumulates and accelerates. No other species has developed in this manner. Mankind is the only species that produces weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, chemical, biological). Mankind will remain a major environmental force for many millennia. A daunting task lies ahead for scientists and engineers to guide society towards environmentally sustainable management. During the era of the Anthropocene, this will require appropriate human behaviour at all levels.

For this project, Gabo Guzzo, an artist in residence, Banner Repeater reading room/project space invited several noted speakers to join together in conversation, using the diagram as a site for discussion and debate: Paul Crutzen, Rasheed Araeen, Jan Zalaseiwicz, with TJ Demos (chair) to discuss some of the controversial ideas that come of the proposed new geological epoch: the Anthropocene.

Paul J. Crutzen is a Dutch Nobel prize winning atmospheric chemist, and theorist on the Anthropocene.

Rasheed Araeen is a London-based conceptual artist, writer, and art critic. His artistic activity has been complemented since 1987 by the groundbreaking art publication of Third Text. He is the author of ‘Ecoaesthetics: a Manifesto for the Twenty-First Century’.

Jan Zalasiewicz is a lecturer in Geology at the University of Leicester and was formerly with the British Geological Survey. He has published over a hundred papers in scientific journals and is the author of ‘The Earth after us: what legacy will humans leave in the rocks?’

T. J. Demos - will be chairing the discussion. T.J. Demos writes widely on modern and contemporary art. His published work centres broadly on the conjunction of art and politics, examining the ability of artistic practice to invent innovative and experimental strategies that challenge dominant conventions.

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