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Scale Critique and the Artificial Ecosystem

Monday, February 12, 2018 at 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm

The Bark Room, Room M104, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center 2 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011

Scale critique uses the distinction between what scales smoothly and what does not as an analytical tool. It points to the need to replace 'the species,' as subject of the Anthropocene, with a theory of ecotechnology. One important site for this theory is the terrarium: a common embodiment of the ecosystem concept, both in the form of narrative setting and scientific experiment. Studying the terrarium in relation to 'terraforming,' a science-fiction trope now applied to Earth, it's clear that one response to life inside ecosystems we can't control has been to imagine them as artificial. In this talk, Derek Woods describes the logic of the terrarium and its relation to terraforming as media for Anthropocene subjectivity. 

Derek Woods (PhD, Rice University) is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Dartmouth College. He works on modern environmental literature in English and contributes to the interdisciplinary field of science and technology studies. Entitled What Is Ecotechnology?, his first book project describes the role of technology in the cultural reception of the ecosystem concept following the Second World War. 

Sponsored by the Department of Culture and Media, Eugene Lang College.

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