Monitoring

Anthropocene Campus | ©Sera Cakal

Anthropocene Campus | ©Sera Cakal

Statements by Jörg Sieweke (Landscape Architecture, University of Virginia), Armin Reller (Resource Strategy, Augsburg), Sabine Fuss (Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change, Berlin). Discussion moderated by Sabine Höhler.

In the Anthropocene, the convergence of data and doing, as well as earthly variables and human agency, lends a logic of crucial “feedback” to the term monitoring: while our observational systems (satellites, buoys, sensors, etc.) are measuring Earth system parameters as they break away into rapid flux, the same fields that demand, enable, and record these observations – science, politics, economics – are simultaneously trying to reign in the gears. Regulatory shifts, market interventions, supervision installments are all attempts to bring the flux “under control”.

The question, thus, not only concerns crucial variables, but also the crucial quantitative as well as qualitative indicators and registries, aligned as they are to process management – that is, our constant technopolitical assessment and monitoring of locked-in pathways. What instruments do we have on hand, both to measure, as well as to respond to crisis? How do we factor in contingent variables?”

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