December 14, 2014

Learning How to Die in the Anthropocene

Roy Scranton read an extract from his forthcoming book Learning To Die in the Anthropocene (City Lights, Fall 2015). Roy served in the United States Army from 2002 to 2006. He is a doctoral candidate in English at Princeton University and has written for The New York Times, Boston Review, Rolling Stone.

January 25, 2015

Practices for Turning in the Anthropocene

Smudge Studio presented recent work that senses that our most essential and urgent task as artists and humans is to discover and enact new practices of acknowledging and living in responsive relationship to emerging planetary realities. Smudge Studio has begun to design and cultivate practices that support us in maintaining nuanced acceptance of the fact that intense material changes are taking place on a global scale - without leaving us reeling in states of distraction or despair. 

February 22, 2015

Love in the Anthropocene

Dale Jamieson, professor of environmental studies and philosophy at NYU and director of the Animal Studies Initiative, read a short story from his forthcoming book Love in the Anthropocene (co-written with Bonnie Nadzam, OR Books, Fall 2015). Love in the Anthropocene is a work of fiction rooted in fact: six stories imagining aspects of a world transformed by human action. This collaboration between a philosopher and artist is a unique and thrilling attempt to depict the era of the Anthropocene, and to communicate its consequences in a viscerally understandable way. 

March 22, 2015

Oranges in the Anthropocene

Amy Harmon, national correspondent for the New York Times, discussed her recent three-part series The Facts About GMOs. Amy covers the impact of science and technology on American life. She has won two Pulitzer Prizes, one for her series, The DNA Age. Her series of articles on the gap between the public's negative perception of genetically engineered crops (GMOs) and the scientific evidence of their safety generated controversy on Twitter and elsewhere. Her article, A Race to Save the Orange by Altering Its DNA, won the 2014 Science in Society award from the National Association of Science Writers, and was included in the anthology, Best Science and Nature Writing 2014.

April 12, 2015

Shame in the Anthropocene

Jennifer Jacquet, an environmental social scientist at NYU, discussed her new book Is Shame Necessary? New Uses for an Old Tool. What makes shaming more or less effective or acceptable? Given the reach, speed, and accessibility of social media, many people have the power to expose individuals or groups to public disapproval, and everyone has the possibility of becoming shame's victim. Understanding the complexity and mechanics of shaming is important for everyone - artists, politicians, activists, journalists, lawyers, scientists, and anyone wishing to be an engaged citizen or a prudent member of shame's audience. Jennifer discussed the role of shame in government policy, as well as its potential use against institutions and even governments. Shame might help effectively tackle large-scale social dilemmas, like tax havens and climate change.

April 26, 2015

Geoengineering in the Anthropocene

Holly Jean Buck, PhD student in Development Sociology at Cornell University asks why would anyone discuss the idea of intentionally modifying the climate, given all the reasons it is obviously a bad idea? We looked at the risks and opportunities of some of the proposed geoengineering techniques, reviewing the current state of the science. Can there be a "best-case" geoengineering? Is it compatible with climate justice? How can public participation in climate engineering decisions happen? And what can climate engineering tell us about life and culture in the Anthropocene? 

May 17, 2015

Language in the Anthropocene

Irene Kopelman (artist) discussed her use of drawing as a language and tool on her field-trips and in her art practice; that is drawing not only as a visual medium but as a way of accessing knowledge and engaging with contextual conditions and situations. Sasha Engelmann (creative geographer) and Jol Thomson (creative researcher) presented some reflections on a series of educational experiments they have been carrying out at the Institut fur Architekturebezogene Kunst at TU Braunschweig. They proposed possible modes of approaching, articulating and recording the elemental tremors and forms of geo-cosmic data made explicit and relevant in the Anthropocene. Ida Bencke (editor) gave an introduction to the current BDP exhibition and publication project: Parapoetics - a Literature beyond the Human. She introduced the first project in the series; About Trees by Katie Holten. This salon was hosted by Büro BDP in Berlin, Germany.

September 20, 2015

Informal public salon introducing the book ABOUT TREES  

A conversation with Will Corwin, Amy Harmon, Katie Holten, Prem Krishnamurthy, E.J. McAdams, Rachel Sussman, and Aengus Woods to celebrate the book launch of About Trees. This salon was hosted by the NY Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1.

December 13, 2015

In Search of Lost Worlds: Remembering the Anthropocene

A conversation with Roy Scranton. The apocalypse has already happened. The Anthropocene is already history. Already we live in a post-climate-change world. The conversation reflected on climatic and cultural adaptations and changes over the past year and past 500 years, thinking the Anthropocene from 1610 to 1945 to 2016. Could there be anything more human, after all, than to be late to our own doom?

November 20, 2016

About Trees: Teach-In

A conversation with Molly Parent (826 Valencia), Susan Schwartzenberg (Bay Observatory), Stephen Sparks (Green Apple Books), Mike Sullivan (Friends of the Urban Forest) and Katie Holten. This salon was hosted by Green Apple Books in San Francisco.

December 17, 2016

War and Peace in the Anthropocene

A conversation with Ellen Harvey, Gregory Schwedock, Sashti Balusundaram, Paul Miller, and Katie Holten at Forward Union, 714 Broadway, New York.

February 19, 2017

Storytelling in the Anthropocene

We discussed the possibilities for truth and storytelling in the current climate. The point of departure for the conversation was presentations by Sarah Resnick and Wendy Tronrud. Sarah introduced Triple Canopy’s Speculations (“The future is ______”), a collection of speculations on the future by more than sixty writers, artists, scientists, activists, economists, and technologists. These speculations were first presented in 2013 as part of a fifty-day series of lectures, discussions, and debates at MoMA PS1 for the exhibition EXPO 1: New York. The speculations were to be optimistic, even if that optimism were skeptical or dark. The book, arranged as a lexicon of the series’ central ideas, was published by Triple Canopy in 2015. Wendy lead a breakout-session with writing exercises to create some words, thoughts, stories, or songs to take out onto the streets. This salon accompanied Katie Holten's solo exhibition #RiseResistRepeat at Rawson Projects. This salon was hosted by the Abrons Arts Center in New York.

September 24, 2017

Sharing Stories in the Anthropocene

The point of departure was a show-and-tell. Everyone shared something with the group, including a bird, slime mold,  poems, seeds... Since we started the salons, a recurring theme has been the need to create new stories for ourselves and our planet. As we have had a long break since the last salon, we thought it would be fruitful to come together and share personal stories as a way to think about ‘goals' for the salons going forward.

October 22, 2017

Relationships in the Anthropocene

Oliver Kellhammer led a conversation on systems versus relationships, questioning systems theory. It has been a tried and true modality of analysis, but is it automatically legitimate? What if systems are only an abstraction, our attempt to make sense of a universe that is completely contingent, subject only to negotiations between actants engaged in relationships of varying degrees of stability and intensity? Systems, like Capitalism, are our idea. They depend on the arbitrary boundaries we set. Relationships are subject only to their participants. Perhaps ‘there are no systems - only relationships.'

November 19, 2017

#FossilFree House Party in the Anthropocene

We discussed what we're doing to divest New York City from Fossil Fuels, from individual actions, to community groups, national campaigns like, and global initiatives like 1000 Cities. 

December 17, 2017

Investing for the Anthropocene

Sasha Brown gave an overview of Ecosystem Integrity Fund’s incremental, systems-based approach to advancing sustainability through venture capital, with a case study on OptiRTC, a smart stormwater management company and Hurricane Irma. 

May 16, 2018

Art and Activism in the Anthropocene

We were invited to share our work at the Economy and Society Summer School, Blackwater Castle, Cork, Ireland. Ger Mullally joined us to discuss his work on the Sociology of the Environment, Community, Sustainable Development and Climate Change through transdisciplinary teaching and investigation of Energy System Transitions.

October 2018

Living in the Anthropocene

We shared our work during a Residency at Salmon Creek Farm in Albion, California.


Economics in the Anthropocene

A discussion of the emerging paradigm for ecological economics.

Planting trees in the Anthropocene

Planting messages to the future using Katie Holten’s New York City Tree Alphabet. Planting facilitated by NYC Department of Parks and Recreation.

Sanitation in the Anthropocene

A field trip to Freshkills Park, Staten Island, New York.

GUESTS to our Sunday Salons have included Marielle Anzelone, Janet Biggs, Julien Bismuth, Samuel Bordreuil, Laura Ballantyne-Brodie, Ida Bencke, Holly Jean Buck, Laurence Chalude, Lucian Cohen, Will Corwin, Meehan Crist, Elizabeth Ellsworth, Sasha Engelmann, Rebecca Fowler, Amy Harmon, Mark Harris, Ellen Harvey, Laura Hoffmann, John Holten, Jennifer Jacquet, Dale Jamieson, Natalie Jeremijenko, Oliver Kellhammer, Irene Kopelman, Jamie Kruse, Carin Kuoni, Dana Levy, Chun Mei Li, Rose Lord, Marie Lorenz, E.J. McAdams, Belinda McKeon, Lori Mason, John Oakes, Jenny Offill, Sarah Resnick, Noah Riskin, Peter J. Russo, Roy Scranton, Georgia Seamans, Daniel Smith, Mari Spirito, Robert Sullivan, Rachel Sussman, Jol Thomson, Nicola Twilley, Althea Viafora-Kress, Aengus Woods.

Robert Sullivan's article "When did the end begin?" for New York Magazine was inspired in part by a visit to our Sunday Salons.