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Mississippi. An Anthropocene River” Field Station #4: Confluence Ecologies

July 26, 2019

image © Andrew Yang

Mississippi. An Anthropocene River takes the concept of the Anthropocene – the period of history during which humans have been the dominant influence on climate and the environment – into the field. The project investigates the Mississippi River as an exemplary landscape of global environmental change. Until November 2019, five Field Stations investigate, highlight, and share historical and contemporary issues of their respective region.

Field Station #4, Confluence Ecologies, aims to bring a regionally focused lens to the globally entangled Anthropocene condition. As a central axis through America, the Mississippi River is a particularly heterogeneous space in which the natural, cultural and historical intersect in a unique way. This Field Station is located in the “confluence territory” in Southern Illinois and Western Kentucky where the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers meet.

The undertaking of this Field Station is one of intensive engagement with several topics. Activities will examine the juxtaposition of opioid addiction and dependencies on coal and nuclear power, issues of native species loss and invasive replacements, and animal labor. In addition, the Field Station will engage with ethical questions about future attempts to make other planets habitable and historical climate engineering initiatives.

Members of the collective Deep Time Chicago will create non-conventional maps, experimental videos, multimedia installations and participatory, public events as a way to collaboratively understand today’s ecological-economic-technological infrastructures.

Activities at Field Station #4 during the Anthropocene River Journey (October 11-13) will range from public walks with the paleogeologist Scott Elrick to the exploration and discussion of the life and ecology of the Asian Carp that populate the Mississippi River, and will further open up the work of the Field Station to the public.

To stay updated, visit anthropocene-curriculum.org and see our previous blog on the project.

“Mississippi. An Anthropocene River” is organized by Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, with the Max Planck Institute for History, Berlin, and many partners in the US and internationally.

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