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Controlled Environment Facilities and the Visualisation of Future Human Society 
Elie Danziger (Laboratoire d’Anthropologie Sociale, EHESS)
Teresa Castro (Sorbonne Nouvelle)
Perig Pitrou (CNRS-PSL)
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Thursday 9 June, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

This panel seeks to bring forward various case-studies of man-made ecosystems. As the future of humanity is increasingly envisioned at a global scale, anthropology can shed light on the aesthetic and cognitive techniques through which humans craft miniature, controllable living worlds.

Long Abstract:

Human social interactions are to a large extent mediated through techniques (e.g. of the body; artefacts; or cognitive techniques), which tend to be at the heart of how the public envisions futuristic societies. Extending anthropologist Leroi-Gourhan's idea that human techniques can serve to externalise some of our biological functions, this panel will look into how future human societies might come to couple technical devices and multiple organic beings (animals, vegetals, microorganisms), through various cybernetic feedback loops, at the level of ecosystems — and through which forms of visualising techniques they might do so. More particularly, we welcome any presentation addressing the way in which humans craft and think with miniature, closed yet global/total systems in an attempt to exert some form of control (be it functional, aesthetic, intellectual) over a profuse environment. The underlying idea being that this type of experiments afford an apprehension of life in its complexity, both as life form and form of life. Stemming from case studies of scientific devices ranging from greenhouses to experiments such as the Biosphere 2 facility in Arizona, the Eden Project in England, or the 'Ecotron' climatic chambers across Europe, this panel is particularly oriented towards presentations in Science and Technology Studies, while welcoming diverse emphases from the fields of visual anthropology or the anthropology of techniques. Ultimately, we also seek to retrace the media archaeology of such scientific and artistic imaginaries through historical studies of controlled environmental facilities.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Thursday 9 June, 2022, -