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5th Annual Conference “Spatial Figures of the Anthropocene”

5. October 2023 – 6. October 2023

The symposium and annual conference of the CRC 1265, ‘Spatial Figures in the Anthropocene’, explores how the concept and reality of the Anthropocene disfigure and refigure four key spatial figures of Western modernity: the place, the territory, the network, and the route.

Engagements with climate change and the planetary in the social sciences and humanities have challenged conventional analytical distinctions between global and local as well as human and nonhuman spaces. Tim Morton’s (2013) influential conceptualization of global warming as a hyperobject emphasizes how it transcends human scales of time-space experience and action, thus becoming a viscous, non-local process. At the same time, authors like Bruno Latour (2017) point out the inadequacy of the modern figure of globalization and of understanding the Earth as a globe. In times of climate crisis, he argues, the Earth emerges as Gaia: not a super-organism or system, but rather a rhizome of organism-environment relationships. As these two interventions exemplify, the multiple environmental and planetary crises associated with the Anthropocene fundamentally challenge the scalar logic and figures of modern understandings of space.

Facilitating an interdisciplinary conversation about these transformations seems crucial because of the pervasiveness of spatial categories and imaginaries. The symposium thus brings together leading scholars from anthropology, sociology, architectural theory, science and technology studies, urban studies, and human geography to collectively meet these challenges while reaching a heterogeneous public audience of researchers and practitioners.

Speakers: Alexandra Arènes, Andrew Baldwin, Jennifer Gabrys, Gastón Gordillo, Susanne Hauser, Christopher Kelty, Marcela Suárez Estrada, Tomás Usón

In collaboration with the ICI Berlin




ICI Berlin, Christinenstr. 18/19 – Haus 8
Berlin, 10119 Deutschland


SFB 1265

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5th Annual Conference “Spatial Figures of the Anthropocene”

SFB 1265
5. October 2023 – 6. October 2023


After the local

9:30 Registration

10:00 Welcome and Morning Lecture
Ignacio Farías (CRC 1265/ Berlin) and Silke Steets (CRC 1265/ Erlangen-Nürnberg)
Spatial Figures in the Anthropocene

11:00 Panel I
The Refiguration of Territories
moderated by Ignacio Castillo Ulloa

Gastón Gordillo (Vancouver)
Place, Territory, Terrain: A Spatial Triad for the Climate Crisis

Alexandra Arènes (Paris)
TERRA FORMA Connectedness: From Territory to the Terrestrial

13:00 Lunch break

14:00 Panel II
The Refiguration of Places
moderated by Nina Baur

Tomás Usón (Berlin)
Beyond Place: Encountering Difference in Disastrous Times

Susanne Hauser (Berlin):
Rethinking Place in Architecture, 1980ff.

16:00 Coffee break

16:30 Coffee Conversations

Theory: Anthropocene and Decolonial Theory (with Marcela Suárez Estrada, moderated by Sung Un Gang)

Methods: Speculation as Method (with Alexandra Arènes, moderated by Jörg Stollmann)

Current Affairs: Mobilities in and of the Anthropocene (with Andrew Baldwin, moderated by Francesca Ceola)

19:00 Evening Event
Refiguring Botanical Gardens
moderated by Martina Löw

Séverine Marguin and Jamie-Scott Baxter (CRC 1265/ Berlin)
Mimetic Spaces: Botanical Gardens in a Shifting Conservation Regime

Digital art installation: Diffracting Natures (Spatial Refigurations in the Metaverse) by Séverine Marguin and Jamie-Scott Baxter in cooperation with the artist-architect Lus Constantin

20:00 Reception


After the Global

9:30 Panel III
The Refiguration of Networks
moderated by Anna Juliane Heinrich

Jennifer Gabrys (Cambridge)
Animating Digital Infrastructures: From Networks to Phygitalities

Marcela Suárez Estrada (Berlin / Berkeley)
Internet as a Territory: Power and Colonialism in the Digital Era

11:30 Coffee Conversations

Theory: Racialized Geographies of Climate Justice (with Gastón Gordillo)
moderated by Zozan Baran

Methods: Engaging Indigenous Knowledges (with Tomás Usón)
moderated by Margherita Tess

Current Affairs: Managing Nuclear Waste (with Susanne Hauser)
moderated by Vivien Sommer

12:30 Lunch break

14:00 Panel IV
The Refiguration of Routes
moderated by Sezgin Sönmez

Christopher Kelty (Los Angeles):
Helicopter, Overpass, Non-target: Figures of Niche and Pathway in Los Angeles

Andrew Baldwin (Durham)
Mobility and the Anthropocene: Rethinking the Route via the Planetary

16:00 Coffee break

16:30 Panel Discussion
After the Local – After the Global?

with Martina Löw (CRC 1265/ Berlin), Philipp Misselwitz (CRC 1265/ Bauhaus Earth/ Berlin), Christopher Kelty (Speaker/ Los Angeles)
moderated by Jochen Kibel

19:00 Evening Event
An Atlas of Spatial Figures
moderated by Hubert Knoblauch

Book Presentation and Lecture Performance
with Ignacio Farías, Nikolaus Gansterer, Silke Steets