Public Lecture

Donnerstag, 11. Oktober 2012
14:00 - 15:30 Uhr
Ort: Expositur PSK, Georg-Coch-Platz 2/1. OG, 1010 Wien


"Towards a New Green Politics"

Alan N. Shapiro (Technologist and Futurist): "The disasters that we are faced with in the areas of ecology, energy and the environment are well-known and they are truly horrific. We are confronted with global warming, the melting of the polar icecaps, the destruction of old-growth forests, oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, polluted water in the Berkeley Pit, threats to the Great Barrier Reef, loss of biodiversity, and the extinction of species. Yet the approach to Green Politics that we have in all countries in the world, and across the spectrum of political parties, is the same old discourse that has been tried for 40 years now and is not working. The question is: How can we develop an alternative to this worn-out discourse of “catastrophe warning”, how can we construct a new Green Discourse, a new Green Politics that might jump-start the ecology-environmental movement into effective action?"
Politics should be based on sound basic principles, so I believe that we must start from philosophy. From the philosophy of the relationship among humanity, nature and technology. We need to settle upon new first principles, and then, based on these, assemble the new Green Politics step-by-step. My talk will be divided into three parts. First, I will speak about the book that the philosopher Jean Baudrillard wrote about ecology, energy and the environment. It is called "The Illusion of the End." In this book, Baudrillard accurately identifies what is fundamentally wrong with the establishment Green Politics: it revolves around an apocalyptic discourse, a perpetual warning about allegedly “real” catastrophes, and it is based on wrong philosophical assumptions. Second, I will explicate the ideas presented in a book called "The Technological Herbarium" by Gianna Maria Gatti. This very important book has been published in three different editions in Italian, English, and German. I translated Gatti’s book from Italian into English, and I edited it and wrote a preface to it. I will elaborate the philosophical first principles regarding the relationship among humanity, nature, technology, life and art articulated by Gianna Maria Gatti. Third, building on top of the ideas of Baudrillard and Gatti, I will start to put together the essential ideational elements of the proposed new Green Politics".

Alan N. Shapiro is a trans-disciplinary thinker who studied science-technology at MIT and philosophy-history-literature at Cornell University. He is the author of Star Trek: Technologies of Disappearance, a leading work in science fiction studies and on the conception of futuristic technoscience. He is the editor and translator of The Technological Herbarium by Gianna Maria Gatti, a major study of art and technology. He is writing books about the TV shows Lost and The Prisoner. He is a practicing software developer and IT Consultant, and is working on projects like “Computer Science 2.0” and “The City of the Future.” At his website “Alan N. Shapiro, Technologist and Futurist”, he has published more than 200 articles (by himself and others) about his new transdisciplinary worldview. He is recognised as one of the leading experts on the philosophy and cultural theory of Jean Baudrillard. Alan teaches seminars at the NABA Design University in Milano, at the Arts University in Berlin, at the University of Frankfurt am Main, and at the Design University in Offenbach. Recently he was a keynote speaker at the conference on Knowledge of the Future at the University of Vienna, at the conference on Information Management at the University of Amsterdam, and at the IEEE conference on the Information Society in London. In July 2012, he gave the International Flusser Lecture in Berlin. In the near future, he will be a keynote speaker at the Share Festival in Torino, and at the conference on Information Science at the University of Potsdam.

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