Let nature rule?! Exploring digital futures through the lens of art and science

Wouldn’t it be a big leap forward for climate and environmental protection if we could let a machine, a powerful artificial intelligence (AI) manage our consumption of natural resources? Remind – or even compel – us to buy local food instead of products from overseas? Tell us to take the bike instead of the car to work when air quality levels are low? Shut off streaming TV series when we have exhausted our weekly carbon budget? Or maybe even advise the government on the conversion of urban areas into much-needed cropland or the preservation of wilderness areas?

The log and the flame: what fire can teach us about the transformation towards sustainability

The “Green Me Global Festival for Sustainability” is an annual event hosted at different locations around the world. Recent iterations of the festival have explored the elements earth, water and air across film screenings, discussions, and other initiatives. Researchers from the IASS have contributed to a number of these events over the years. The eleventh GreenMe Festival will take place in Berlin later this year under the motto “Action, Passion, Fire”. This prompted me to explore the themes of fire and sustainability in a dinner speech at a recent function to which sponsors and supporters of the festival were invited in early May. The following essay draws upon my comments there.

Technology, Aura, Dialogue: The “EnergyTransitionArt” Exhibition

In the basement, in an alcove that’s almost a small room, stands a small wood stove. If it weren’t on a pedestal, it would barely be a metre high; but even so it’s small, almost cute. The wood from which it’s made appears to be untreated; its whiteness is rustic, quaint, innocent. It takes a minute to realise what’s wrong. A ‘wood stove’ should be a stove for burning wood – not one made of wood. It should make combustion possible without itself being combustible.