a gathering/workshop proposed by Isabel Burr Raty

Tuesday 15 to Friday 18 of November 2022 from 10:00 to 18:00 hrs.


For the topic Earth of this block, Isabel Burr Raty invites to collectively think – Earth – by diving into polarities surrounding the fourth most abundant element in the observable universe and the 15th most common in the Earth’s crust: Carbon. Carbon, which originates in the core of stars, has the power to form life, yet to dissolve life as we know it on this Planet. Carbon is the chemical skeleton for life to exist on Earth, required to shape complex molecules like DNA, needed for the development, functioning and uniqueness of humans and almost all other organisms. However, carbon-based fuels dominate global energy use and in the context of climate change, carbon dioxide is the most important greenhouse gas released by human societies. Challenging transnational green efforts to establish post-carbon economies and cementing foundations for trans-human Directed Evolution futurisms.

During a 4 day encounter based encounter, two invitees and a series of theory readings will get us in touch with traditional and innovative practices around the carbon spectrum, as well as post-human critical perspectives on the concept – human – and – nature -. Fabulating with variant Sci-Fi myths be-coming-reality, to inspire alternative imaginaries for the human-role in the Earth’s life cycle as well as during its apparent obliteration.


On one side of the spectrum, our first invitee, Maria Quiñelen Mapuche medicine woman and Isabel’s close collaborator. The Mapuche are the originary nation in Chile. Self-identified as – the people of the Earth – they live in a state of resistance, fighting for their autonomy. Via a series of ceremonial practices, María will share with us how her cosmovision comprehends the human body as an Earth body. A body populated by carbon entities, functioning as connective tissue to establish non-biological kinship relationality with the micro and macro cosmic. And as such the human is an active, entangled and trans-dependent constructive Earthy and galactical systems constituent.

On another side of the spectrum, our second invitee Markus Schmidt (DE), expert in xeno-biology that began as a bio-engineering experiment financed by the European Commission and today it’s an ambitious project supported by first world power states. Markus, will share with us how this scientific discipline engineers chromosomes different from carbon based DNA to create useful artificial sustainable biodiversity. In other words, to design new forms of life on Earth that are not hard ware, but purely wet ware based. Such as synthetic breathing forests that would be ready to populate post-carbon post-nature silicon landscapes.


Orbiting around the reception of our invitees, our readings will open up chapters from Geontologies, A requiem to late liberalism by Elizabeth Povinelli, The Relative Native, Essays on Indigenous Conceptual Worlds by Eduardo Viveiros de Castro and Xenofeminism by Helen Hester. Where we collectively reflect on: What makes life be in opposition to and in difference from Nonlife? Can the human embody an integrative meta-physics by welcoming multiplicity through affinity? What makes the concept of nature subservient to essentialism? Why “alienation” embraced by technology can be a vehicle for progress?, etc.

Tentative Itinerary of EARTH Tuesday 15 to Friday 18 of November 2022 from 10:00 to 18:00 hrs. Tuesday 15 Morning: reading circle Afternoon: sharing with invitee Maria Quiñelen Wednesday 16 Morning: reading circle Afternoon: sharing with invitee Maria Quiñelen Thursday 17 Day trip visit to the Garzweiler mine in Germany with Maria Quiñelen. The Garzweiler hole is one of the biggest surface coal mine in Europe. The mine currently has a size of 48 km² and got its name from the village of Garzweiler, which previously existed at this location. The community was relocated in the nearby surroundings, as well as other villages that followed after. Friday 18 Morning: sharing with invitee Markus Schmidt Afternoon: group discussion and closure



Isabel Burr Raty – Working on it.

María Quiñelen (CL), belongs to the Kepam, lineage, of Mapuche ancestral medicine practitioners in Nueva Imperial Chile. At the age of 7 her grandmother started training her in the arts of medicinal herbs by teaching her, amongst others, how to talk to them in her dreams. Since then, for more than 40 years she has been working and living as a Lawentufeche: Mapuche Doctor, Piñeñelchefe: midwife expert in natural and humanized birth, ceremonial facilitator channeling the energy of the matrix and as a social educator within a nomadic school of Mapuche Cosmology that she runs. Her experience has taken her to occupy a social influencer role as a feminist activist in Latin America, appearing in numerous TV and radio programs and lecturing in diverse Indigenous Nations knowledge Congresses.

Markus Schmidt (DE) provides solutions for biosafety challenges in synthetic and xeno biology, carries out technology assessment of novel bio-, nano- and converging technologies; engages in documentary film production, serious game development and explores the creative interface of art and science.


Postgraduate program
Research Center program
To be discussed

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