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Anthropocene Observatory #2 | Three Gorges Dam project, Yichang (Hubei), China 1998, model | © Armin Linke
A knowledge station, a steadily expanding reservoir. The Observatory Episode #2 casts a sweeping gaze around the world to institutions, laboratories, and workplaces usually reserved for specialists, in order to portray the increasingly complex relationship between abstract models, concrete places, and social organization.
At the beginning of the year, the Observatory reopens with Episode #2, henceforth presenting itself to the visitor in its ongoing development up to the fall finale.
Episode #2 of the Observatory is dedicated to the history and present of mathematical calculation, and to the planning, modeling and management of dynamic processes since the beginning of the modern era. It paints a picture of their spatial and human implications, as well as their geopolitical effects, first in the period of colonialism and industrialization, and later in the cybernetic age leading to today’s modeling and risk calculation of global processes. Does a complex world exist beyond the models that, despite the vast quantities of data they are fed, are always reductive? Are climate change, the world economy, the oceans, etc. now under control, or does the idea of controllability just lead to ever greater blind spots, collateral effects and risks?