A new intensification is reshaping the surface of the planet: human changes to the Earth’s climate, land, oceans and biosphere are now so great and so rapid that the thesis of a new geological epoch defined by the actions of humans – the Anthropocene – is now being widely debated and articulated. This thesis is developing across a number of circuits, institutions, organisations, scientific and intellectual fields, all of which are equally affected by this unfolding discourse, as much as the environments in which they act.

Operating as an observatory, a composition of documentary practices and discourses, the project traces the formation of the Anthropocene thesis. Across a number of specific international agencies and organisations, information about scientific research is acquired, registered, evaluated, processed, stored, archived, organised and re-distributed. These behind-the-scenes processes and practices, that lead to the equally complex decision making procedures, form new discourses and figures of shift.

The Anthropocene Observatory documents these practices in a series of short films, interviews and documentary materials. Combining film, photography, documentation, interviews, spatial analysis and fieldwork, the project develops from 2013 to form an archive and a series of installations, seminars, debates and cultural interventions: aim of the project is to illustrate in detail the unfolding of the thesis of the Anthropocene in its many streams of influence.

Anthropocene Observatory is a project by Territorial Agency (John Palmesino and Ann-Sofi Rönnskog), Armin Linke and Anselm Franke.
Produced by HKW Haus der Kulturen der Welt.

© Anthropocene Observatory