Planetary Circuits: To Channel Greenhouse Metabolic Flows. Environmental Lunchtime Discussion

This presentation explores the historical transformations of technoscientific understandings of space and their relation to nature and agriculture

Image may contain: Plant, Terrestrial plant, Symmetry, Font, Art.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

As ecological catastrophe looms large on the horizon, the salvation promised by ecomodernism invariably passes through an intensification of agriculture and its caloric and metabolic extractivism – and becomes gospel in the centres of technocratic administration. This near future is commonly framed by the interfacing of greenhouse technologies and architectures with the system control engineering of industrial ecology: future agriculture – both terrestrial and interplanetary – seems to always pivot around the enclosure of the greenhouse and its relatives. To explore these futures and their different presents, this presentation offers a guided tour weaving together the hortus conclusus of the ancien régime, the imperial expansion of monocrop plantations, the high-tech agriculture of the Dutch Food Valley, and the dystopian visions of Soylent-based diets and their brood. Through genre-bending stories of agricultural futures and pasts, the circuitry of these metabolic landscapes becomes apparent, revealing the recurring frictions that structure these infrastructural imaginaries of the planet. As an experiment in narrative STS, the presentation offers insights on these historical and speculative constellations of future agriculture, as well as opening some possible alternatives for what they can mean for the social studies of science.

About the presenter

Filippo Bertoni is currently a postdoc at the Humanities Department of the Museum fur Naturkunde Berlin, where he gathers and edits stories that illustrate the transformations of animals into objects and data that shaped our understanding of nature. Bringing together social studies of science, natural sciences, and creative storytelling practices, his work inhabits the hinterlands between various disciplinary traditions in order to investigate how relations with nature are specifically situated, and how they can change.

About the event series

The OSEH Environmental Lunchtime Discussion series consists of short, 15 minute presentations by invited guests, followed by a discussion. We invite speakers from a wide variety of fields, both academic and beyond. The presentations are accessible and are aimed at anyone with an interest in environmental issues. All are welcome.

Tags: OSEH, HF, Environmental Humanities
Published Aug. 30, 2021 2:29 PM - Last modified Aug. 30, 2021 2:29 PM