Atmospheric Futures
Jerry Zee (University of California, Davis)
Dehlia Hannah (Arizona State University)
Timothy Choy (UC Davis)
Anne Sophie Witzke (Aarhus University)
British Museum - Anthropology Library
Start time:
29 May, 2016 at 9:00 (UTC+0)
Session slots:

Short abstract:

This panel tracks practices of arts and sciences of climatic imagination to explore the slow perceptibilities of atmospheric change. What capacities and instruments make diffuse, planetary changes sensible? What poetics and visibilities manifest a future of risk and possibility?

Long abstract:

This panel addresses the overlapping imaginative dimensions of climatic arts and sciences. It considers not only how, in contemporary life, meteorological and climatic processes take shape in aesthetic and knowledge practices, but also how climatic and meteorological phenomena assert themselves into sensing and sensory practices. We explore how the encounter of climatic and aesthetic-epistemological worlds creates diverse spaces and opportunities for posing the questions of living in a changing atmosphere. How might such arts and sciences expand our collective capacities for imagining dangerous, endangered and hopeful futures?

Questions of time and imagination suffuse our attempts to understand and grapple with near- and long-term ecological transformation. Indeed, meteorological phenomena at various scales increasingly challenge our temporal sensibilities, eliciting techniques for coordinating human scale with the various moving extra-human temporalities of weather and climate that press into and reshape human time and existence. Between the slow perceptibility of climate change and the speed of spectacular weather events, papers in this panel explore the entanglement of temporalities in contemporary and coming atmospheres.

Together, these papers compose a materialist imagination to grapple with the possibility of other worlds. Imagination, we maintain, is a material process entangled with the properties and futures of a changing planet. What politics of habitation, affect, and embodiment can emerge? How do material practices of climatic imagination tease apart the different temporalities at stake in open and power-laden relations among people, infrastructures, and nature? How do they aim to establish the capacities necessary to think and inhabit changed atmospheres?