The Socialist Anthropocene

Donnerstag, 23. März 2023 - 19:00 Uhr

Universität für angewandte Kunst
Ort: AIL – Angewandte Interdisciplinary Lab / Café Exchange

Artistic Perspectives on the Great Transformation of Nature. Talk and Poster Edition
Angewandte Interdisciplinary Lab

A presentation of a poster edition on collaborative strategies in the Anthropocene accompanies the talk. The Cross-Disciplinary Strategies Master Lab produced the edition in cooperation with artist Claudia Holzinger (Applied Photography). [Event will be held in English]

The Socialist Anthropocene denotes the version of the Anthropocene that unfolded on the socialist side of the Cold War divide. Its entwined social and environmental histories are illuminated in the art, and visual culture of the socialist world, not least in depictions of the vast project of infrastructural, agricultural and geoengineered interventions into the natural environment decreed in the Stalin Plan for the Great Transformation of Nature of 1948.

The presentation will consider the distinctiveness of the Socialist Anthropocene, including outlining the tension between the modernising and colonising tendencies of socialist transformation, especially about the histories of expansion into the indigenous territories of the Soviet North and South. Furthermore, it will address the alternative epistemologies of socialist science, grounded in understanding the Earth as an interconnected ecological system and manifest in Soviet advances in climate science since the 1960s.

Talk in English by Maja and Reuben Fowkes (Postsocialist Art Centre at the Institute of Advanced Studies, University College London)

Introduction: Christine Böhler (Cross-Disciplinary Strategies)

Maja and Reuben Fowkes are art historians, curators and co-directors of the Postsocialist Art Centre (PACT) at the Institute of Advanced Studies, University College London. Their publications include Art and Climate Change (Thames & Hudson, 2022), Central and Eastern European Art Since 1950 (Thames & Hudson, 2020), Ilona Németh: Eastern Sugar (Sternberg Press, 2021), The Green Bloc: Neo-avant-garde Art and Ecology under Socialism (CEU Press, 2015) and a special issue of Third Text entitled Actually Existing Artworlds of Socialism (2018). Recent curatorial projects include the exhibitions Colliding Epistemes at Bozar Brussels (2022) and Potential Agrarianism at Kunsthalle Bratislava (2021). Their Horizon Europe project on the Socialist Anthropocene in the Visual Arts is supported by a UKRI Frontier Research grant.


Uhu Diskurs
Talk, Poster Edition, Maja Fowkes, Reuben Fowkes
Donnerstag, 23.03. 19:00
Universität für angewandte Kunst

AIL – Angewandte Interdisciplinary Lab / Café Exchange
Georg-Coch-Platz 2
1010 Wien
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