The most recent transmission of the Dutch television program tegenlicht, entitled ‘Cultuurbarbaren’ is devoted to the relation of art and activism, including highly interesting examples of environmental arts, such as the work of Femke Herregraven or the ‘dark ecology’ journey organized by Amsterdam’s Sonic Acts festival. In the transmission, available online, amongst others, Herregraven explains how the melting ice at the poles discloses new data communication routes, thereby speeding up the financial markets.
The transmission also features an interview with philosopher Timothy Morton, author of Dark Ecology. In the interview, he states that “Art isn’t just representing stuff. It is actually helping us to go there. Scientists are looking at patterns in data. Their job is never to say anything about reality. Art, and a little bit philosophy and other humanistic disciplines in a way are holding the reality piece. We are looking at the reality which is the unspeakable, ungraspable ‘what’s it gonna be next’…”.
And Alessandro Baricco, author of the book ‘The Barbarians’ claims that little has happened within the cultural sphere in the past 150 years, compared to recent developments in relation with the rise of the information age, which for him, finally put an end to the romantic period.
We’ll see how, tonight, in a Meetup related to the transmission in Amsterdam’s Pakhuis de Zwijger, philosopher Maarten Doorman, author of the bestselling book on ‘the romantic order’ (and recently appointed special professor at Vrije Universiteit), will react to this assumption….