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Daniel Andersson

Daniel Andersson

Artificial Earth: Dwelling in the Midst of Global Technology

The widespread adoption of the term “Anthropocene”, during the last twenty years, indicates the wide acceptance of the view that human activities have become such a powerful driving force for global environmental change that our destructive legacy will be recorded in geological history. Thanks to a surge in the rate of technological development, humans move more rock and soil than all of the earth’s glaciers and rivers combined, fix more nitrogen than microbial activity, and consume such vast quantities of resources so as to qualitatively alter the earth on a global level. There is no clearer illustration of the extent of human impact than the fact that maintaining the diversity of species and the functioning of ecosystems is dependent on an ever increasing human involvement. Yet, this is also its irony: that nature is possible only in so far as a growing scale of human enterprise maintains it through artificial conservation practices. In short, the idea of a sublime nature has been replaced by that of a technological environment. Humans, it is argued, has transformed the planet at nearly every scale we are capable of measuring, such that the very distinction between “nature” and “artifice” has lost its meaning. In an effort to resolve the contemporary confusions about the nature of technology in the face of global environmental change, so as to better respond to the problems of our epoch, the present dissertation seeks to retrieve and thematize an intellectual genealogy of thinking technology as an important part of – rather than apart from – the geological economy, whose implications for the philosophy of technology have largely been neglected. The thesis concludes that, in the twenty-first century, we must rather make sense of the fact that technology has taken on the same organic nature that many of its twentieth century critics prescribed as an antidote to the modern condition: technology is no longer disclosed as the instrumental mastery over nature, but as the poietic expression of nature’s own self-realization.

Daniel Andersson, Ph.D. student at the Department for Thematic Studies – Technology & Social Change, Linköping University, and doctoral fellow with the Seed Box, will in conversation with Eva Lövbrand from TEMA Environmental Change, present the final draft of his dissertation, Artificial Earth: Dwelling in the Midst of Global Technology. There will also be time for questions and input from participants. The seminar will take place on March 20th, 13.15-15.00, in the room Lethe, the TEMA-building, Campus Valla, Linköping University.

The manuscript will be available on beforehand. Please let Daniel know if you would like to receive a copy: daniel.j.andersson@liu.se.