9 September, 8.30 PM CET / 1.30 PM EDT

“Past’s Futures: Anthropocene or Capitalocene?”

Participants: Saodat Ismailova, Oleksiy Radynski, Peter Sit
Moderators: Lukas Brasiskis, Inga Lāce

In this conversation, taking place in conjunction with the third post MoMA screening “Past’s Futures: Anthropocene or Capitalocene” we will discuss the environmental damage in East-Central Europe caused by both socialist modernization and capitalist industrialization.

The forecasts for the near future of our planet are bleak. We have entered a new geological epoch, according to which human impact has damaged the Earth’s biological systems to the point that mass extinction is now a real possibility. This new geological epoch has been commonly termed the Anthropocene. However, the Capitalocene—an alternative term to refer to deleterious human activities—has also been proposed by Jason W. Moore defining an inseparability between capital, anthropocentric power, and nature. Can we apply the term Capitalocene to describe the ecological damage exerted by communist regimes?

In the post-1989 period, video artists from post-socialist countries started to reflect on the environmental legacy of socialist regimes whilst also addressing degradation caused by neoliberalism. Saodat Ismailova, Oleksiy Radynski, and Peter Sit -- the three artists in discussion engage with ecological issues related to the times that now mark the failed dreams of East-Central European socialism. How does Anthropocene and Capitalocene apply in the region? What are the artists’ strategies in visualizing the Anthropocene/Capitalocene? These are just a few of many questions to be discussed on Wednesday.

“From Matter to Data: Ecology of Infrastructures” presents a selection of 15 films and video works in three parts from July 29 till September 9. 

The Flood (Ivar Veermäe, 2018)