Dehlia Hannah by Julian Charrière

Dehlia Hannah
Cloud Walking: Meditations on 'A Year Without a Winter'


Lauded curator and professor Dehlia Hannah delivers a lecture stemming from her environment-focussed publications and research projects. The meeting point of climate change and art – from the volcanic eruption that led to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to Paolo Soleri’s utopian architecture in experimental town Arcosanti – is an estuary that for Hannah yields imaginary places, creatures and technologies.

In her talk Cloud Walking: Meditations on A Year Without a Winter’, Hannah enters into the discussion of how, as the world warms and seasonal patterns betray historical records, we are called to rethink key concepts of environments that we inhabit both physically and imaginatively. From regional weather systems to the lived abstraction of a global climate, rising mean temperature, shifting shorelines, disturbed migratory routes and phenological clocks, to new avenues of economic exploitation and militarisation, the boundaries of our environs are open to radical contestation. Published two hundred years after Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or: The Modern Prometheus – which was written amidst a global climate cooling crisis remembered as the year without a summer’ – Hannah’s book A Year Without a Winter (2018) and associated exhibitions explore the literary and visual aftermaths of the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora, in parallel with emerging narratives of environmental crisis. In this talk Hannah moves through a series of clouds generated by historical events, literature and visual art – volcanic eruptions, poems, climate models, smoke bombs and burning jungles – in search of a new way of conceptualising climate that is responsive to contemporary atmospheric conditions. 

Dehlia Hannah by Julian Charrière

Dehlia Hannah is a philosopher of science and curator. She holds a PhD in Philosophy from Columbia University, with specialisations in philosophy of science, aesthetics and philosophy of nature. Presently, she is Mads Øvlisen Postdoctoral Fellow in Art and Natural Sciences at Aalborg University-Copenhagen and Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto’s Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design. Her forthcoming monograph Performative Experiments examines contemporary artworks that take the form of scientific experiments. Her book, A Year Without a Winter (2018), reframes contemporary imaginaries of climate crisis by revisiting the literary and environmental aftermath of the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora. Among her recent exhibitions are Emerge: Frankenstein (2017), Control | Experiment (2016) and Placing the Golden Spike: Landscapes of the Anthropocene (2015). Her current research examines the role of imaginary places, creatures and technologies in the history of philosophy. 


Dehlia Hannah. Photo by Julian Charrière.

Magical Thinking: Towards a Future Worth Living – Conference Day 2

at De Brakke Grond
Sun 23 Feb 15:00 — 18:00

This conference proposes the idea of magical thinking’ – a belief that thoughts and actions can influence the world – as a provocation. In current dystopian scenarios of the future life on Earth, from environment to democracy, imagining a future worth living might reduce anxiety that paralyses action and create openness to a more inclusive way of thinking. The question that needs answering is what is a future worth living (and for whom), and which tactics could get us there. How do we get from climate emergency and catastrophic populism, fuelled by extractive capitalism, to a world of social/​ecological justice and multispecies equality? With focus on artistic research and strategies of visibility and mobilisation that art holds, this forum wishes to open critical discussions and propose possible ways to the future worth living.

Unlearning the Environmental Knowledge

Unlearning the perspective of Anthropos’ when thinking about the environment activates different ways of understanding earthly surroundings. New modes of transdisciplinarity are summoned to engage in thinking with more-than-human agents in order to uncover narratives about the climate crisis. From the 1815 volcanic eruption of Mount Tambora to the US’ nuclear testing at Bikini Atoll – the beginning of the new era in the history of Earth, the Anthropocene – an artist, a curator and a theorist in this block present on a series of encounters with volcanoes, seas, jungles, rocks and other interconnected planetary species and technologies. 

This panel will be moderated by Mirna Belina.

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