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Medea Talks | The End of Man: Species Vulnerability in the Anthropocene
December 14, 2017 @ 15:15 – 17:00
Medea Talks on December 14 with Joanna Zylinska, artist, curator and Professor of New Media at Goldsmiths, University of London. She will discuss the notion of the Anthropocene, and the “end of man” prophecy associated with it – especially as it relates to the gendering of the Anthropocene story. The talk will include a screening of her short photo-film, Exit Man (2017), which attempts to outline a “feminist counter-apocalypse”.
View Joanna Zylinska’s Medea Talk in the video embedded above (or on YouTube)
Joanna Zylinska’s talk offers an ironic take on one of the dominant narratives of vulnerability today: the Anthropocene. It also probes the expiration of the White Christian Man as the key subject of history.
Tracing the apocalyptic undertones of the Anthropocene narrative as a story of the existential crisis of humanity, she will look at several recent developments surrounding the human as both a philosophical concept and meaty materiality: panic about the scarcity of resources that are available to sustain us; renewed activity around Artificial Intelligence in Silicon Valley; biotechnology research into ways of upgrading the human all the way to immortality. She will also position the use of the Anthropocene as an explanatory concept against the horizon of various current political events across the globe. They include the war on terror, the rise of rightwing populism, the refugee crisis, the Trump phenomenon and Brexit.
Her primary interest concerns the unspoken anxieties and fantasies that are implied by the “end of man” prophecy associated with the Anthropocene – especially as they relate to the gendering of the Anthropocene story. By way of response, the talk will include a screening of her short photo-film, Exit Man (2017), which attempts to outline a “feminist counter-apocalypse”.
Joanna Zylinska is a writer, lecturer, artist and curator. She is Professor of New Media and Communications and co-Head of the Department of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London. The author of six books – including Nonhuman Photography (MIT Press, 2017), Minimal Ethics for the Anthropocene (Open Humanities Press, 2014) and Life after New Media: Mediation as a Vital Process (with Sarah Kember; MIT Press, 2012) – she is also a translator of Stanislaw Lem’s philosophical treatise, Summa Technologiae (Minnesota UP, 2013). Her own art practice involves experimenting with different kinds of photomedia.
Read more about Joanna Zylinska.