Korsakow Show, Fotografin: Juliane Henrich

Will We Save the Earth? – Conversations about the Future of Technology and the Planet

An event series by the Federal Cultural Foundation in cooperation with the Suhrkamp Verlag

In the face of climate change, dwindling biodiversity and limited natural resources, scientific and technological advances play a central role for diagnosing the problems and surmounting the current crises we now face. Never before have we had such capability to alter our natural habitat. In a new book and event series, leading international scientists and engineers spoke with top-ranking liberal arts scholars, sociologists, economists and cultural producers about the disruptions to our planet and ways to shape a common future in the “Anthropocene” (Paul J. Crutzen), a new world age predominantly influenced by human beings.

In what ways have technologies already altered the Earth? How can we attain new mastery over nature thanks to advances in Earth system sciences, synthetic biology, computational sustainability and energy research? What potential solutions to our current global environmental crisis have researchers in these fields proposed, what kind of futures are they preparing for? What consequences will research on the feasibility and possible secondary effects of large-scale geo-engineering projects have – for example, the proposed release of massive amounts of sulphur-based aerosols into the atmosphere to reflect solar radiation back into space? How can economists, urban planners, sociologists, political scientists, environmental historians, philosophers and writers contribute to the discussion on how to direct the world towards a sustainable future? Countless scenarios depicting limited resources and climate change have condensed into an enormous tale of how the world can be saved from utter doom. It is a story based on empirical data and scientific models, and for the time being, it remains unresolved.

The new book of interviews by Tobias Hülswitt and Roman Brinzanik “Will We Save the Earth? – Conversations about the Future of Technology and the Planet” followed the volume “Will We Live Forever? - Conversations about the Future of Man and Technology”, in the unseld series released by the Suhrkamp Verlag in 2010. The filmmaker Gunther Kreis produced an interactive film to accompany the book, as he had done for the previous volume, with clips that served as the basis for discussion in a participative event series.

In the event series, the authors spoke with a number of leading scientists, artists and philosophers. The questions, theories and answers in the book were presented in an interactive, multi-media format titled The Korsakow Show, developed by the media artist Florian Thalhofer. In addition to the experts at the event, the discussion included the videotaped opinions and thoughts of the book’s interviewees and other individuals of various professions and segments of the population. The audience members were encouraged to steer the discussion and offer their own thoughts. The event series focused on the central question of how to engage in a relevant, participative and interdisciplinary discussion regarding our future.

 

Idea, concept, artistic direction: Roman Brinzanik and Tobias Hülswitt
Film director and cameraman: Gunther Kreis
Featuring book and film interviews with: T. C. Boyle (USA), Paul J. Crutzen (NL & D), George Church (USA), Carla P. Gomes (P & USA), Peter Head (GB), Tim Jackson (GB), Paul Leadley (USA & F), Claus Leggewie (D), Thomas Macho (D), Joachim Radkau (D), Stefan Rahmstorf (D), Ferdi Schüth (D), Sybil Seitzinger (S & USA), John Urry (GB).


Events:

8 December 2011, 7.30 pm
Kampnagel Hamburg
The Future of the Climate – Geo-Engineering as Plan B?
With Peter Sloterdijk, philosopher, and Stefan Rahmstorf, IPCC lead author and climate advisor to the German federal government
With the kind support of the Goethe-Institut

10. January 2012, 8 pm
Dortmunder U
The Future of Energy – Entering the Post-Fossil Age
In cooperation with the Hartware MedienKunstVerein in the Dortmunder U
With Ferdi Schüth, chemist, energy expert from the Max Planck Society and the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, and Ortwin Renn, environmental, technological and risk sociologist, member of the “Secure Energy Supply” ethics commission

31 January 2012, 8 pm
Hygienemuseum Dresden
The Future of Mobility – After the Car
With Udo Jürgen Becker, traffic ecologist and Ulrich Buller, chemist, director of the Fraunhofer “System Research for Electromobility” project

22 March 2012, 8 pm
Senckenberg-Museum, Frankfurt/M.
The Future of Species – Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management
With Hilal Sezgin, writer (Landleben. Von einer, die raus zog), and Volker Mosbrugger, paleobotanist, director of the Senckenberg Research Institute and Museum of Natural Sciences

13 April 2012, 8 pm
neues theater, Halle
The Future of Life – Synthetic Biology
With Jörg Hacker, microbiologist, president of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, and Nicole C. Karafyllis, philosopher, bioethicist, environmental and technological ethicist

10 May 2012, 8 pm
Theater Freiburg
The Future of the City – Sustainable Urbanization
With Frauke Kraas, anthropologist-geographer, expert in megacities and urban development, and Matthias Schuler, designer, Transsolar KlimaEngineering (Masdar City)

14 June 2012, 8 pm
Münchner Kammerspiele
The Future of Prosperity – Green Economy
With Ingo Schulze, writer and essayist (33 Moments of Happiness, Was wollen wir?), and Martin Jänicke, international expert in environmental politics and green economy, member of the investigative committee “Growth, Prosperity, Quality of Life”


Media partners: Deutschlandradio Kultur, DRadio Wissen and der Freitag.

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Date
14.06.2012 Münchner Kammerspiele, München Korsakow-Show