Global Shift – the epoch of mankind

Ars Electronica Blog

(Linz, 23.9.2021) Ever since Spiderman, at the latest, it has been known that “with great power comes great responsibility. Nevertheless, life according to the “Peter Parker principle” seems to be much easier for a single superhero than for us “normal people,” who are each rather helpless on our own, but all the more powerful as a collective. So powerful, in fact, that some even speak of an “epoch of man.
So far, however, this epoch has mainly been crisis-ridden. It is becoming more and more apparent that we are in great difficulties from which no superhero will be able to save us. Having reached the zenith of our power, we have to admit that we can shape the face of this planet according to our wishes, but at the same time we do not realize what chain reactions we are triggering. We have to realize that although we have become the determining factor on this planet, this does not mean that we can control everything – such as nature.
In order to still make the “Epoch of Man” a success story, it will take much more than a few good ideas and technical masterpieces. Instead of continuing to pay homage to the fetish of mere engineering thinking – and thus conveniently delegating all our responsibilities to a few – we need to fundamentally rethink. We need to bring about a cultural, economic and political change based on the realization that precisely because we humans are part of nature, every action we take, without exception, affects us.
What and who can contribute to this change will be the focus of a theme weekend at the Ars Electronica Center on Saturday, Sept. 25 and Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021. Together with LIWEST, the Museum of the Future invites you to a series of exciting guided tours and workshops dedicated to the “Global Shift”…

The program at a glance:

Guided tour: No Planet B – Climate crisis and human responsibility.
SA 9/25 & SO 9/26/2021 / at 11:00, 14:00 and 16:00
Based on considerations of the Anthropocene and current impacts of human influence on the Earth, our energy needs and first steps of sustainable solutions will be examined in more detail. Fascinating satellite images and visualizations make our footprint on Earth visible, and then the new exhibition There Is No Planet B illustrates the theme of energy as the basis for life, society, technology. This tour offers not only an overview of already existing solutions from the fields of art, technology and society but also insight into the increasing social engagement.

Deep Space: Planet A
SA 9/25 & SO 9/26/2021 / at 10:30, 13:00 and 17:00
Why is Earth so special? What makes it “Planet A?” In Deep Space 8K, a series of breathtaking satellite images show not only the beauty of our home planet, but also the ways in which the effects of human activity can be seen even from space.

Lecture: Fight against climate change – What (really) drives the citizens?
SO 26.9.2021 / 15:00

Dr. Johannes Reichl, project manager at the Energy Institute of Johannes Kepler University Linz, is a lead developer of the software tool On Sunday, 9/26/2021, he will present the software around power outages and the associated damages for companies and households and tell why the fight against the climate crisis is indispensable.

Open Workshop: Citizen Science – Active Desk
SA 9/25 13:00 – 18:00 & SO 9/26/2021 / 13:00 – 16:00

What does it mean to be an attentive citizen? What can I personally do to help shape the world in which I live? And how do other communities get involved in society? These are precisely the questions that the CitizenLab addresses. At the Active Desk, digital skills and methods for research work are taught to adults and young people.

Open Workshop: Raindrop – What is reflected in your raindrop?
SA 9/25 & SO 9/26/2021 / 10:00 – 18:00

The Ars Electronica Center is the ideal place to ponder thoughts about the future. What does a livable future look like? What about our own ideas, hopes and plans? In the Children’s Research Lab, young visitors have the opportunity to creatively shape their own conceptions of the world.

Presentation: Bionics in the Children’s Research Lab.
SA 25.9. & SO 26.9.2021 / from 10:00 every full hour
Researchers use microscopes to uncover all kinds of secrets of nature and try to recreate them. Bionics – the combination of biology and technology – is already hidden in many areas of our everyday lives. The children’s research lab takes them on an exciting journey of discovery into the world of bionics.

ESA satellite image in Deep Space / Foto: European Space Agency ESA, Ars Electronica – Robert Bauernhansl / Printversion

Global Shift / Fotocredit: Ars Electronica – Robert Bauernhansl / Printversion

PLANet B / Fotocredit: Ars Electronica – Robert Bauernhansl / Printversion