HOW EVERYTHING BEGAN
GoU started with a research in 2013 which was intrigued by what is arguably a growing recognition: the geologic, both as a material dynamic and as a cultural preoccupation, which shapes the “now” in more direct and urgent ways. The research is conceived as a critical observatory, triggering situational and negotiation instruments, on the theoretical, scientific and political conception of the paradigm of the Anthropocene—the transition from humanity understood as a “biological agent” into a “geological agent”. The intended concept of “preserving the Earth” is no longer relevant, as environmental scientists alert us, but the urgency of how to survive on earth. In teeming assemblages of exchange and interaction among the bio, cosmo, socio, political, legal, economic, strategic and imaginary the geo-perspective brings forth a new cultural sensibility that emerged over the past years all over. Therefore, the Anthropocene seems to be one of the most resonant examples of how the urgency has prompted scientists, artists, humanities scholars, and intellectuals as well as mainstream media to engage creatively with the emerging legacy of our geomorphic and biomorphic powers. How can we (re)conceptualize, (re)imagine, and (de)inhabit time, space or language in interrelation with consideration of speed, scale, flow, and density?
GoU responds to the arena with developing the method of an experimentation forum which enacts a collaborative mode of thinking. We create physical and discursive space and time for negotiation between different agents from academic and non-academic, disciplinary and inter/non/disciplinary fields, artistic and activists’ practice. Assembled as a form of a collaborative knowledge building process that draws on the diversity of a group engaged in researching, critiquing, doing and synthesizing in order to evolve a body of theory and practice—a method which is often utilized in social sciences to trace hidden instrumentalization of inequalities.
In this way, we define the Anthropocene not so much as a periodizing concept but rather as an organizational form of the conceptualization of urgencies within capitalism's imperative of linear growth, materialistic accumulation and commodification, standing at odds with ecology's notion of interdependence and scarcity.