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Climate Change

Exhibition

After the End of the World

After the End of the World is an exhibition about the Earth of 2017 irreversibly transformed into the Anthropocene planet after two centuries of human impact on natural systems. But it is also an exhibition about how we will reach the world of the latter half of the 21st century, and about our society’s responsibility to the generations who will be born and grow up in it

“This civilization is over. And everybody knows it.”
McKenzie Wark

“Marxism can include nonhumans – must include nonhumans.”
Timothy Morton

 

In the coming decades, humankind will face one of the most complex challenges it has had to address in its history. In the second half of the 21st century, we will have to stop emitting CO2 into the atmosphere forever. After the End of the World is a spatial essay on the present and future of climate crisis: a journey  to the landscapes of the Anthropocene planet; and a conversation with the humans and non-humans of the year 2100.

Artists, philosophers, heaps of sand, novelists, sea creatures, playwrights, plants, architects, objects, speculative designers and scientists have worked together to imagine situations, to tell stories and to devise strategies for survival and peaceful cohabitation in the world to come. The result is a hypnotic and startling experience, one that exposes the trauma caused by the magnitude of the crisis and the disappearance of the world we once knew, but also one that speaks of the opportunity for change and of the pressing need for an intergenerational pact.

 

Immersive installations

After the End of the World consists of eight immersive installations in the exhibition gallery, a base for participative experimentation and action in the public space of the city of Barcelona, and the design and launch of a ‘Ministry of the Future’ to formulate very long-term policies to examine the conditions of inequality, temporality and the various dimensions of the crisis.

The participants in After the End of the World include a coalition of humans and non-humans, some of whom have a name that they go by, notably: the German documentary theatre company Rimini Protokoll (DE), developing a dramatic experience on the animal species that will be the winners and losers in the climate crisis; Tomás Saraceno (AR), presenting  Aerocene, a utopian architectural project that envisages the atmosphere as a new territory for humankind to expand into; and the Unknown Fields Division (Kate Davies + Liam Young) (UK), running expeditions into the Anthropocene that take us on a journey through the global infrastructures of fashion while exploring the planetary landscapes of desire. Charles Lim (SG) gives the first presentation of his research into the terraforming of Singapore, a country made of artificial sand at war with the rising sea. The satellite photography curatorial platform Overview directed by Benjamin Grant (US) presents us with an installation making us face the reality of the Earth’s new skin. Speculative design studio Superflux (IN/UK) transports us to an apartment in the year 2050, a time when droughts and hurricanes have altered our eating habits. The engineer and artist Natalie Jeremijenko (AU), a key figure in the space between art and science, is installing the headquarters of her Environmental Health Clinic in the exhibition, constructing new and mutually beneficial relationships between the various lifeforms that live alongside each other in the city.

The exhibition will also feature a staged prologue by Kim Stanley Robinson (US), one of the leading figures in contemporary science fiction, and an essay-cum-installation in five chapters by the philosopher Timothy Morton (UK), the father of ‘dark ecology’ and of the concept of ‘hyperobjects’.

 

Laboratory spaces: Beta Station and City Station

Beta station, a laboratory within the exhibition, will host workshops, presentations, guided visits and talks organised jointly with scientific and technological centres and universities in Catalonia to offer views and perspectives from different fields and different formats of the issues addressed in the exhibition throughout the six months of the project.

After the End of the World also includes City Station: a base for experimentation and participatory action in the public space of the city of Barcelona.

City Station is based on the conceptual framework proposed by the engineer and artist Natalie Jeremijenko and houses her Environmental Health Clinic. Set up in the district of Sant Martí and designed as a coproduction of the CCCB and Barcelona City Council, the Station consists of a series of infrastructures to carry out participatory actions where citizens contribute actively to improving environmental health. Activity takes the form of a series of recipes to improve the quality of the soil and the air, or increase green space and biodiversity. With the emphasis on the collective research and public participation that form part of citizen science, the Station has the support of the scientific community, and local bodies and associations. The Citizen Science Office of the Institut de Cultura de Barcelona is also involved in the project, as is the International School of Citizen Science, where investigators from all over the world will be joining in with this collective effort.

 

Curator: José Luis de Vicente
City Station Outreach Project: Josep Perelló
Project Director: Rosa Ferré
With the special participation of Timothy Morton in the role of the Minister of the Future
Exhibition design: Guillermo Santomà

Overview

Benjamin Grant

It is little more than 50 years since we had the first opportunity to view an image of the Earth thanks to the early satellites and space missions. Blue Marble, the photograph taken in 1972 by the Apollo 17 crew, has become the most famous portrait of our planet and has fixed in our imaginations the picture of it as an immaculate blue and white sphere.

In 2017, the human species has shown itself to be a geological force that rivals nature itself in its ability to alter and transform the surface and entrails of the Earth, the depths of the oceans and the layers of the atmosphere. The image of the ‘blue sphere’ no longer reflects the reality of the Anthropocene planet. Seven hundred kilometres above our heads, satellites capture in detail the Earth’s new skin, cracked and tattooed across its entire extent.

From up there, we can see the catalogue of all the objects of the world.

Benjamin Grant is the founder of Overview, a publishing and online project that delves into databases of satellite photographs to extract images that show how human activity is constantly reshaping the landscape.

 

Unravelled

Unknown Fields Division (Kate Davies + Liam Young) 

In 50 years, the human population has tripled in size and has transformed the world in order to satisfy its rising material needs. Growth as the driving force of progress and the stimulation of the desire for goods and experiences have dramatically increased the ecological footprint of every citizen in the First World. On the Anthropocene planet, desire is literally capable of moving mountains.

To meet our insatiable need for mineral and organic resources, we have stained rivers, razed forests and extended deserts. We have pulverised mountains and with their sand we have changed coastlines. Plastic, the artificial mineral of our era, is accumulating in the oceans, washing up on beaches in millions of fragments and entering the digestive systems of birds, marine species and humans.

The objects we use every day carry within them the trace of this transformation. Every item of clothing is the product of systems that span the entire planet.

Unknown Fields Division is nomadic research and design studio led by Kate Davies and Liam Young. During the course of their ten years venturing out on expeditions to the landscapes of the Anthropocene, they have uncovered the connections between our daily lives and the industrial environments of processes on a global scale.

 

Sea State 9: Proclamation

Charles Lim Yi Yong

The transformation of the Earth’s geography today is the outcome of the clash between two opposing forces: financial capital, and its extreme exploitation of natural resources that is constantly reshaping the landscape, and the devastating impact of climate change. On the frontline of this battle, a small and prosperous nation in South-East Asia is planning its future.

Singapore is a key port in the world’s infrastructure and a central node in the international financial system. The country’s most limited resource is land, which it is attempting to increase by terraforming, reclaiming land from the sea. Thirty per cent of its surface is now artificial land. To continue its expansion, Singapore has become the largest purchaser of sand in the world.

Its plans for growth are at odds with an inescapable reality: every year, the sea rises 4 millimetres as a consequence of the melting icecaps and increasing temperatures. In 2100, the sea could be 2.5 metres above its current level. The land reclaimed from the sea will be the first that the sea will claim back in a combat that looks to be unending.

The artist Charles Lim Yi Yong is a former member of Singapore’s Olympic yachting team. Since 2005, his project Sea State has been analysing the limits of the nation state through the visible and invisible co-ordinates of the sea.

 

Win > < Win

Rimini Protokoll

The conditions for life have changed dramatically on the Anthropocene planet. The organisms on the Earth have to survive in the face of a new atmosphere, a hotter world, waters that are more acid, and a global predator, the human species, which is monopolising ecosystems and overexploiting them.

Not all of these organisms are succeeding. In 40 years, the Earth has lost half its wildlife. In the 20th century, 477 species of vertebrates became extinct, and almost half of all mammal species lost 80% of their population. We have triggered the sixth mass extinction in the planet’s history. Of all the symptoms of the climate crisis, this one is truly irreversible.

However, in the spaces left by the species that have vanished, others are finding an opportunity to thrive. In the oceans, overfishing and plastic waste have decimated predatory species, making it easier for their natural prey to survive. The rise in the temperature of the sea, which reduces the oxygen in the water, prevents some species from breeding, while the numbers of others are multiplying. The future belongs to these winners.

Rimini Protokoll produces documentary pieces for the theatre, radio plays, sound works and installations. Their work is a constant search to develop the tools of the theatre to produce unusual perspectives on reality.

 

Mitigation of Shock

Superflux 

Feeding 7.5 billion people every day remains the fundamental problem facing our civilisation. In the First World, we take it for granted that we will have all the food we need whenever we want it, all year round, just a stone’s throw from our home, even if it has to be brought in from the other end of the planet. We never doubt that it will always be affordable or that there will be any reason to concern ourselves with the way we waste it.

On a planet beset with extreme weather events, these days of confidence may be coming to an end. Droughts, floods, hurricanes and cropland with declining fertility all threaten to trigger major crises of food insecurity that will endanger the guaranteed supply of basic foodstuffs to the entire population.

What are the resources and main skills that we will need to develop in order to increase our food independence? What will food culture be like in this new world, and how will our homes and our relationship with food change?

Superflux is a speculative design studio that creates stories to confront the spectator with the instability of a changing world. They combine technology, politics and culture to imagine new ways of seeing, acting and being.

 

Aerocene

Tomás Saraceno

The origin of the climate crisis dates back 150 years to the time when we began to alter the relationship between the atmosphere and humankind. There is no possible solution to this crisis that does not involve altering this relationship once again.

At the start of the Industrial Revolution, vast plumes of smoke produced by the burning of fossil fuels in factories began to form part of our landscapes, a symbol of progress. Even though we have ignored these gases for decades, they are still present in the air we breathe because there is nowhere else they can go. On the Anthropocene planet, there is no ‘outside’.

Whereas at the start of the Industrial Revolution the concentration of CO2 in the air was 280 parts per million, 9 May 2013 was the first day in human history that it crossed the dangerous threshold of 400 parts per million. This was the composition of the world’s atmosphere 4 million years ago, when the human species did not exist.

Reimagining our relationship with the atmosphere, in a new zero-emissions civilisation, is one of the crucial utopias if we are to arrive at the world of 2100.

Tomás Saraceno incorporates artistic speculation, architecture, the natural sciences, astrophysics and engineering into his work. His projects suggest sustainable ways of inhabiting and perceiving the environment and of creating new symbiotic relationships with the Earth.

 

Environmental Health Clinic

Natalie Jeremijenko

In the world to come after this one, we will need a new pact between humankind and the rest of the biosphere. The existing types of relationship based on the exploitation of natural resources and the subjection of every other species to our needs can be replaced with others in which we all benefit. This is the vision of mutualism, which demonstrates that most relationships between species in the natural world are collaborative, not competitive.

The increasing pace of urbanisation of the planet in the 21st century has turned cities (which are responsible for 70% of CO2 emissions) into a key place for forging this new mutualistic pact. The environmental health clinic is a centre for research, education and practice to improve our quality of life in the city by means of collaboration with our non-human neighbours: insect citizens, plant citizens and microscopic citizens.

The artist, engineer and inventor Natalie Natalie Jeremijenko has developed this field of Mutualistic socio-ecological systems design. Her projects take participation and collaboration between humans and non-humans as their starting point for forging our relationship with nature. Jeremijenko has been invited to establish the xCLINIC in Barcelona and to work with the CCCB team and you to re-create our shared urban systems to improve human and environmental health to the benefit of each of us.

Related contents

Joanna Zylinska: “We need a new way of seeing the Anthropocene”

Laura Benítez Valero

An approximation to climate crisis from an ethical and responsible stand at several scales where humans may be the cause but also answerable to solutions.

Timothy Morton, Minister of the Future in the exibition "After The Endo of the World"

The first Minister of the Future is embodied in the philosopher Timothy Morton, who coined concepts such as the “hyperobject” and “dark ecology”. Morton is one of the world’s foremost thinkers in imagining a new relationship with the planet. 

Previous activities

After the end of the world

Xcèntric Archive

xWater: domestic filters

ODA for the future: Activism workshop about climate change

«A cross-cutting cultural workshop halfway between the epic of the landscape and the lyricism of activism »

Closing party of the programme «After the End of the World» at Civic Centres and Libraries in Barcelona

A day of family and free activities in "Vil·la Urània"

«After the End of the World» for the Deaf

Guided tour with interpretation service in sign language

O menino e o mundo (Boy and the World)

«Narratives from the Anthropocene» Cine Fòrum

Spring Day

Monitoring air quality

Workshop on the production of narrative documentaries on the Anthropocene

Biochar Movement

A Place in the World

Conversation of Paolo Cognetti with Cristian Palazzi

Conversation with Donna Haraway and Marta Segarra

Debate via videoconference

Donna Haraway: Story Telling for Earthly Survival

Screening of Fabrizio Terranova's documentary

Adopt a plant

Darwin’s Nightmare

«Narratives from the Anthropocene» Cine Fòrum

Bird biodiversity and urban spaces

Phenology

Solar energy, leaf area and pollution

Energy self-consumption

The Drunken Driver: Thoughts on a Waning Civilisation

Lecture by McKenzie Wark

Festival Llum Barcelona 2018

xAir

Conversation with George Monbiot

Debate via videoconference with Carlos Delclós

Opening of “The Newton Machine”

Featuring Reconstrained Design Group with musical performance by Nico Roig

Metropolis

«Narratives from the Anthropocene» Cine Fòrum

Seeding Freedom

Humanity at an Evolutionary Crossroads

Barcelona air quality datathon

Living the Earth

Animated films and ecology

The Origins of the Anthropocene. A Long-Term View

Discussion with Javier Fernández López Pablo, Sergi Lozano and Robert Sala

"Blade Runner" Christmas

With Ricard Solé, Gemma Marfany, Manuel Moreno & Ángel Raya

Guided tour of the exhibition “After the End of the World” + Reading Club by IND+I

Regarding the books: Desafíos del futuro (Future challenges), by Pere Puigdomènech, and The Emergence of the Urban Entrepreneur, by Boyd Cohen

Economic model and global migrations

Pau Baizán and Giorgos Kallis in conversation

Social and cultural conflict

Paula Casal and Victoria Reyes in conversation

There’s So Much at Play!

Workshops and Games on Climate Change for Children

Eco-fashion: Towards the Sustainability of Fashion

Don’t Follow the Wind. A Walk in Fukushima

Installation at the CCCB

Reinhabiting the Earth

Ricard Solé and Patrizia Ziveri in conversation

The Catalan Law on Climate Change: Do We Have the Law We Deserve?

Led by Ferran Civit and Salvador Lladó

Artists Talk

A journey beyond the end of the world

Climate, culture, change

Activity programme and prize award presentation ceremony of the 2nd Cultural Innovation International Prize 2016-2017

Sustainable Cultural Management

Lecture by Laura Pando

Assuming climate change as a fascinating challenge

Lecture by Laura Faye Tenenbaum

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