Talk: T.J. Demos

T.J. Demos: "Against the Anthropocene: Art and Ecology in the Age of Capital"

​Charlottenborg Art Talks
Venue: The auditorium at Hirschsprung
Entrance: Free

T.J. Demos is professor in History of Art and Visual Culture, University of California, and deals with global political issues as sustainability, climate changes, and neo-liberalism, and how art can challenge and practice a form of activism against more established political systems. At this talk T.J. Demos will present his forthcoming book ”Against the Anthropocene: Art and Ecology in the Age of Capital” and read a chapter from it.

Addressing the current upswing of scientific and environmental arts and humanities-based attention in relation to the recent geological proposition that we have entered a new human-driven epoch called the Anthropocene, this presentation offers a critical overview of that thesis as well as its limitations, in conceptualization and in practice. Looking at multiple examples of visual culture—including popular science websites, remote sensing and SatNav imagery, eco-activist mobilizations, and experimental artistic projects—it considers how the term proposes more than merely a description of objective geological periodization. Rather, this presentation argues that the Anthropocene terminology works ideologically in support of neoliberalism’s financialization of nature, anthropocentrism’s political economy, and the endorsement of geoengineering as the preferred—but likely disastrous—method of approaching climate change. To democratize decisions about the world’s near future, we urgently need to subject the Anthropocene thesis to critical scrutiny and develop creative alternatives in the present.

About Charlottenborg Art Talks
Every Wednesday this fall Charlottenborg Art Talks presents talks, performances, film screenings, readings and debates about art by Danish and international artists, writers, curators and professors. The programme is arranged in cooporation with The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.