continent. maps a topology of unstable confluences and ranges across new thinking, traversing interstices and alternate directions in culture, theory, biopolitics and art.
Issue 5.2 / 2016: 1-5

Letter from the Editors & Issue Index

_ _

(image by Nina Jäger, continent.)

A special issue of

Discussions in and on the Technosphere

The technosphere is an emergent weft of our geo-systemic fabric. The Technosphere project team of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) and the para-academic collective and publication group continent. have collaborated here on an unwinding of technospheric matters, ideas and experiences, that we hope you, dear reader, will trace out with us.

Our inquiries have taken shape through acts of personal encounter, co-production and co-publication—inter-views. We attempt here to transfer to you a set of unassuming communications about the technosphere, straightforwardly expressed through the editing and elaborating of dialogic, spoken conversations. Drawing urgent academic research discussions into public discourse demands that we address one another, directly. The technosphere itself demands, and offers, that we learn to speak with new kinds of conversation partners.

The “technosphere” is geologist Peter Haff’s term for the planetary-scale networks of transport, information, energy and media operating at a scale and functional efficacy that we can now compare with geological and climatic forces—the soils and rocks of the lithosphere, the waters of the hydrosphere or the winds of the atmosphere. Its emergence as a thematic is driven by the same witnessing of intertwining natural environments, vast socio-technical forces, and increasingly diverse technological species and spaces that has precipitated discussions of the Anthropocene, at HKW and elsewhere. Both “technosphere” and “Anthropocene” are terms describing an earthly globe enwrapped and forever reworked by human amplifications of matter and energy. Perhaps somewhere between this new technological ‘sphere’ and our new human ‘scene’ is the Earth itself, an aspersed milieu increasingly interrupted and altered by the astonishingly dominant living population it made possible.

The Technosphere project at the HKW (2015-18) began with an initial gathering in Autumn 2015, and continues into 2016 with the launch of the Anthropocene Campus: The Technosphere Issue, an eight-day teaching and learning experiment, in which new forms of knowledge production and dissemination are tested, and the implications of the technosphere examined. The first occasion for the ongoing collaboration between continent. and HKW was the latter’s hosting of The  Technosphere, Now event in October, 2015 in Berlin. Editors from continent. came from various corners of the globe, invited to immerse themselves into and extrapolate from the talks, discussions, presentations and demonstrations held there. Interview-discussions held with the likewise international set of researchers, theorists, artists and scientists at this event precipitated an online special issue of continent. for April 2016, featuring articles titled by the names of our interviewees. This special issue is outlined and excerpted in a physical booklet that we have issued for HKW participants. continent. has developed a number of further collaborative interventions into HKW’s Technosphere spaces and programming.

The continent. team extended invitations to speakers, engaging them in a semi-improvised discussion—an auxiliary conversation eliciting a more individual narrative—about their interests and research trajectories. Through these conversations was captured a distilled, if digressive, alternative to the plenary expositions, case studies and pre-prepared arguments presented in more polished and public forums. As personal reflections, these hint at links between the individual and their passions for research, drawing out how epistemic trajectories are at once driven by a desire for proximity, and by the striving for distance and objectivity. The notion of the technosphere emerges in these discussions as the individual and collective efforts of human beings, seeking to know the world in a highly particular way.

Included in this publication are brief excerpts from transcripts of the conversations we are grateful to have had with but a small number of The Technosphere, Now event participants. Each interview is elaborated with a selection of EDITORS' NOTES, and a singular collage image composition by continent.'s own Nina Jäger. Navigation of this issue is aided by a set of compiled terms and keywords—an ‘index’—labeling and connecting the names, nomenclatures and terminologies, subjects and subjectivities which emerged through our discussions in and on the technosphere. This ‘index’ is included below.

The act of publica(c)tion is always one of hopeful generosity, of putting things and words and ideas into the world to be opened, closed, maximised, minimised, discussed, praised and critiqued. Our humble intent here is to remind ourselves of the necessity for linkages between the personal and the ecological, the individual and the collective, the technosphere and an anthropoi that would deign or dare to think it.

Thank you, dear reader, for your kind attentions.

 ~ continent. & HKW
{continent.} Nina Jäger, Paul Boshears, Bernhard Garnicnig, Jamie Allen, Lital Khaikin
{HKW Technosphere} Katrin Klingan, Anna Sophie Luhn, Christoph Rosol, Nick Hood

Thanks to Bernard Geoghegan, Niklas Egberts, Quirin Wildgen, Marlene Schenk, Matt Bernico, Shintaro Miyazaki, Felix Gerloff, Zachary Caple and Katrina Schwartz.


Abstract Masahiro Terada
Affordance Jennifer Gabrys, Mushon Zer-Aviv
Agency Lino Camprubí, Erich Hörl, Scott Knowles, Bronislaw Szerszynski, Mushon Zer-Aviv
Agro-industrial complex Lino Camprubí, Scott Knowles
Air Peter Haff, Mark Hansen, Donald MacKenzie
Algorithm (→ Trading, Military) Donald MacKenzie, Lucy Suchman
Altars S.Løchlann Jain
Angela (→ Kanzler, theOliver Sann
Anthropocene(→ Anthropocenic Illusion, Human BeingsLino Camprubí, Erich Hörl, S.Løchlann Jain, Scott Knowles, Oliver Sann, Lucy Suchman, Masahiro Terada
Anthropocenic Illusion (→ Anthropocene, Human BeingsErich Hörl
Anthropology S.Løchlann Jain, Lucy Suchman 
Animal (→ Human BeingsBronislaw Szerszynski, Masahiro Terada
Apparatus Lino Camprubí, Peter Haff, Erich Hörl, Scott Knowles, Arno Rosemarin, Mushon Zer-Aviv
Architecture Jennifer Gabrys, Oliver Sann
Artefact Jennifer Gabrys, Peter Haff, S.Løchlann Jain, Donald MacKenzie, Lucy Suchman
Artificiality Lucy Suchman, Masahiro Terada
Artificial intelligence Lucy Suchman
Atmosphere Peter Haff, S.Løchlann Jain, Scott Knowles
Autonomy Erich Hörl, Scott Knowles, Bronislaw Szerszynski 
AZERTY Mushon Zer-Aviv

Becoming (naru) Masahiro Terada
Bells (→ GongsOliver Sann
Bennett, Jane Jennifer Gabrys
Biosphere Lino Camprubí, Peter Haff, Birgit Schneider, Bronislaw Szerszynski 
Body Peter Haff, Mark Hansen, Bronislaw Szerszynski, Birgit Schneider
Bonaventura (Fidanza, Giovanni di) Lino Camprubí

Calories Scott Knowles

Cancer S.Løchlann Jain
Capitalism Mark Hansen, Erich Hörl
Carbon Scott Knowles, Donald MacKenzie, Arno Rosemarin
City (→ InfrastructureScott Knowles, Birgit Schneider 
Climate Lino Camprubí, Birgit Schneider 
Clothes (→ Shirt, Textiles) Lino Camprubí, Peter Haff, Mark Hansen, (cufflinks) S.Løchlann Jain, Bronislaw Szerszynski
Co-evolution (→ Evolution) Masahiro Terada
Cold War Lino Camprubí
Complexity (→ Interconnectedness, Everything-Everything-Everything) Peter Haff, Mark Hansen, Scott Knowles, Birgit Schneider, Bronislaw Szerszynski
Control (→ Simondon, GilbertPeter Haff, Erich Hörl, Arno Rosemarin, Oliver Sann, Lucy Suchman, Mushon Zer-Aviv
Cosmology (→ Complexity, Interconnectedness)(cosmological evolution) Mark Hansen, Masahiro, Terada
Cybernetics (→ LogicErich Hörl, Jennifer Gabrys

Data Jennifer Gabrys, (trading) Donald MacKenzie, Arno Rosemarin, Mushon Zer-Aviv
Death (→ Entropy,SkullLino Camprubí, Jennifer Gabrys, S.Løchlann Jain, Lucy Suchman 
Deleuze, Gilles (→ Apparatus) Erich Hörl
Disaster Scott Knowles, Arno Rosemarin
Doors Peter Haff
Drones Lucy Suchman

Earth Lino Camprubí, Jennifer Gabrys, Peter Haff, Erich Hörl, Scott Knowles, Bronislaw Szerszynski
Ecology Erich Hörl, Jennifer Gabrys, Masahiro Terada
Edwards, Paul Oliver Sann
Energy Lino Camprubí, Peter Haff, Erich Hörl, Arno Rosemarin, Birgit Schneider
Entropy (→ Death, FossilArno Rosemarin, Birgit Schneider, Bronislaw Szerszynski
Environment Lino Camprubí, (sensors) Jennifer Gabrys, Erich Hörl, Scott KnowlesArno Rosemarin, Birgit Schneider
Everything-Everything-Everything Oliver Sann, Mushon Zer-Aviv
Evolution (→ Co-evolution) Mark Hansen, Erich Hörl 
Excrement (→ Phosphor, Waste) Scott Knowles

Fertilisers Lino Camprubí, Arno Rosemarin
Finance (→ Trading, Speed) Peter Haff, (markets) Donald MacKenzie
Flower (→ Marigold) S.Løchlann Jain
Food Lino Camprubí, Peter Haff, Mark Hansen, Erich Hörl, Scott KnowlesArno Rosemarin
Fossil (→ Artefact, Entropy) Jennifer Gabrys, S.Løchlann Jain
Fossil fuels (→ Death, Energy) Arno Rosemarin
Funding S.Løchlann Jain

Geography Donald MacKenzie
Geology Jennifer Gabrys, Peter Haff, Scott Knowles
Germany (→ Bells, Kanzler, the)Peter Haff, Bronislaw Szerszynski
Gongs (→ Bells) Bronislaw Szerszynski
Governance Peter Haff, Arno Rosemarin

Haff, Peter Jennifer Gabrys, Peter Haff, Mark Hansen, Erich Hörl, Scott Knowles, Bronislaw Szerszynski, Mushon Zer-Aviv
Hansen, Mark Mark Hansen, Erich Hörl
Health Scott Knowles, Donald MacKenzie, Oliver Sann
Heidegger, Martin Bronislaw Szerszynski
History Lino Camprubí, Erich Hörl, Scott Knowles, Bronislaw Szerszynski, Masahiro, Terada
Human Being (→ Anthropocene, Anthropocenic Illusion) Jennifer Gabrys, Peter Haff, Mark Hansen, Bronislaw Szerszynski, Donald MacKenzie, Oliver Sann, Lucy Suchman, Masahiro Terada
Human Exceptionalism (→ Anthropocenic Illusion) Lucy Suchman, Erich Hörl
Humanist Mushon Zer-Aviv
Humanity Lino Camprubí, Peter Haff, Masahiro Terada

Illusion (→ Anthropocenic Illusion) Erich Hörl
Immaterialisation Erich Hörl, (invisible realm) Scott Knowles
Individual Oliver Sann, Bronislaw Szerszynski, Mushon Zer-Aviv
Industrial Erich Hörl, Scott Knowles, Oliver Sann, (military) Lucy Suchman
Interconnectedness (→ Abstract, Complexity, Everything-Everything-Everything) Jennifer Gabrys, Erich Hörl, Scott Knowles, Donald MacKenzie
Internet Peter Haff, S.Løchlann Jain, Donald MacKenzie, Birgit Schneider
Information Jennifer Gabrys, Lucy Suchman
Infrastructure (→ City) Erich Hörl, (health) Scott Knowles, Birgit Schneider, Lucy Suchman 
Interface Mark Hansen, Scott Knowles, Mushon Zer-Aviv

Kelly, Kevin Mushon Zer-Aviv
Kanzler, the Oliver Sann

Landscape Jennifer Gabrys, Birgit Schneider, Masahiro, Terada
Latour, Bruno Mark Hansen, S.Løchlann Jain, Masahiro, Terada
Logic (Cybernetics) Jennifer Gabrys, Bronislaw Szerszynski, Mushon Zer-Aviv

Machine (→ Simondon, GilbertErich Hörl, Scott Knowles, Oliver Sann, Lucy Suchman, Mushon Zer-Aviv
Marigold (→ Flower) S.Løchlann Jain
McLuhan, Marshall Jennifer Gabrys
Matrix (→ System) Erich Hörl, Birgit Schneider
Media Mark Hansen, Erich Hörl, Birgit Schneider, Bronislaw Szerszynski, Mushon Zer-Aviv
Memory S.Løchlann Jain
Microphone (→ Recorder) Mark Hansen
Milk, Glass of (→ Phosphorus) Arno Rosemarin
Military (→ Industrial, Violence) (operations) Peter Haff, (technology) Lucy Suchman 
Mobility Donald MacKenzie
Monsanto Scott Knowles
Morocco Lino Camprubí
Moscovici, Serge  Erich Hörl
Multiplicity (→ Complexity) Jennifer GabrysLucy Suchman

Nature Lino Camprubí, Peter Haff, Erich Hörl, Arno Rosemarin, Lucy Suchman, Masahiro, Terada
Neolithic (→ Paleolithicum) Oliver Sann
Network Erich Hörl, Scott Knowles, (production) Donald MacKenzie, Birgit Schneider, Lucy Suchman, Mushon Zer-Aviv
Nicholas, Max Lino Camprubí
Non-coherence Lucy Suchman

Ontology Lino Camprubí, Mark Hansen, Lucy Suchman
Organisation Peter Haff, Bronislaw Szerszynski
Outside Lino Camprubí, Peter Haff, Erich Hörl, Bronislaw Szerszynski, Mushon Zer-Aviv
Outer Space Jennifer Gabrys

Paleolithicum (→ Neolithic) Erich Hörl
Paper S.Løchlann Jain, Arno Rosemarin
Phone Lino Camprubí, Peter Haff, Mark Hansen, Erich Hörl, Scott Knowles, Donald MacKenzie, Oliver Sann
Phosphorus (→ Phosphor, Phosphate)Lino Camprubí, Scott Knowles, Arno Rosemarin
Plastic Scott Knowles
Policy (→ Governance, Ecology) Scott Knowles, Arno Rosemarin
Pollution (→ Waste) (3D printing) S.Løchlann Jain, Scott Knowles
Post-human Erich Hörl
Prigogine, Ilya Bronislaw Szerszynski
Privacy Mushon Zer-Aviv
Process Lino Camprubí, Jennifer Gabrys, Peter Haff, Erich Hörl, Scott Knowles, Bronislaw Szerszynski, Masahiro Terada, Mushon Zer-Aviv
Production Lino Camprubí, Erich Hörl, Scott Knowles, (network) Donald MacKenzie, Lucy Suchman
Provocative Scott Knowles, Masahiro Terada

Radiation Donald MacKenzie, Arno Rosemarin
Reality Lino Camprubí, Scott Knowles, Mushon Zer-Aviv
Recorder (→ Microphone) Peter Haff, S.Løchlann Jain, Oliver Sann
Refridgerator (→ Food) Mark Hansen, Arno Rosemarin 
Remote Control (→ Control) Lucy Suchman
Renn, Jürgen Peter Haff

Satellite Lino Camprubí, Jennifer Gabrys, Erich HörlScott Knowles 
Shoe Jennifer Gabrys
Shirt (→ Clothes, TextilesS.Løchlann Jain, Scott Knowles
Simondon, Gilbert (→ Control, Machines) Jennifer Gabrys, Erich Hörl 
Skull Lucy Suchman
Society Lino Camprubí, Peter Haff, Erich Hörl, Scott Knowles, Oliver Sann, Mushon Zer-Aviv
Speed Donald MacKenzie
Standard Scott Knowles, Mushon Zer-Aviv
System Lino Camprubí, Jennifer Gabrys, Peter Haff, Mark Hansen, Erich Hörl, S.Løchlann JainScott Knowles, Donald MacKenzieBirgit Schneider, Arno Rosemarin, Oliver Sann, Lucy Suchman, Bronislaw Szerszynski, Mushon Zer-Aviv

Technocracy Lino Camprubí
Techno-determinism Scott Knowles, Mushon Zer-Aviv 
Textiles (→ Clothes, Shirt) Birgit Schneider
Thinking Erich Hörl, (non-technical) Bronislaw Szerszynski
Time Donald MacKenzie, Bronislaw Szerszynski, Masahiro Terada
Tool Jennifer Gabrys, Mark Hansen, Erich Hörl, Scott Knowles, Oliver Sann
Tornado Peter Haff, Bronislaw Szerszynski
Trading (high-frequency) Donald MacKenzie
Transport (→ Mobility) Peter Haff, Erich Hörl, Donald MacKenzie, Birgit Schneider
Trauma S.Løchlann Jain, Arno Rosemarin
Travel Donald MacKenzie

“Us”, the (→ We-ness, Humanity) Masahiro Terada

Waste Lino Camprubí, (electronic) Jennifer Gabrys, (3D printing) S.Løchlann Jain, (excrement) Scott Knowles
Water Peter Haff, Scott Knowles, Birgit Schneider, Bronislaw Szerszynski 
Wave S.Løchlann Jain, Mark Hansen, Erich Hörl, Birgit Schneider
We-ness (who is we?) (→ You-ness, Humanity, Society, UsLino Camprubí, S.Løchlann Jain
Whitehead, Alfred North Jennifer Gabrys, Erich Hörl 

You-ness (→ We-ness, Individual, Society) S.Løchlann Jain