Martin Fonck

Dr. Martín Fonck

Research Associate

Dr. des. Martín Fonck is a research associate in the research group Planetary Geopolitics and Geoengineering. He completed his PhD at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society and the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Munich. His main interest is studying narratives and imaginaries of environmental politics in the transition towards sustainability. Currently, he is writing about technologies of exploration based on his doctoral project on geothermal energy futures in the Chilean Andes. Within the research group, Martín reflects on how ecological processes are transformed into unexpected technologies to face the planetary crisis. He is interested in analyzing the potentials and unforeseen consequences of these processes from an ethnographic and historical perspective.

  • Narratives and Imaginaries of Environmental Politics
  • Environment and Technology
  • Natural Laboratories
  • Energy futures
  • Ethnography

Publications prior to joining the IASS

Journal articles

  • Fonck, M. (2021). Subterranean (In)visibilities: Traces, Underground Water, and Thermal Flows in the El Tatio Geyser Field, Atacama, Chile. Environment & Society Portal, Arcadia, 24. Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society.
  • Fonck, M. & Simonetti, C. (2020). Resonancias geológicas: Aprendiendo a ser afectados por las fuerzas de la tierra en el Antropoceno. AIBR Revista de Antropologia Iberoamericana, 15 (1): 157-178.
  • Di Giminiani, P., Fonck, M. & Perasso, P. (2019). Can natives be settlers? Emptiness, settlement and indigeneity on the settler colonial frontier in Chile. Anthropological Theory, 0 (0): 1-25.a
  • Di Giminiani, P., & Fonck, M. (2018). Emerging landscapes of private conservation: Enclosure and mediation in southern Chilean protected areas. Geoforum, 97: 305-314.
  • Fonck, M., & Jacob, D. (2018). "Escuchando el llamado del bosque": Explorando las dimensiones afectivas de la conservación ambiental desde la etnografía multiespecies. Santuario El Cañi, Chile. Revista Austral de Ciencias Sociales, 35: 221-238.
  • Digiminiani, P. & Fonck, M. (2015). El paisaje como proceso de vida: experiencias de domesticación del bosque en el sur de Chile. Revista de Geografía Norte Grande, N° 61: 7-24.

Other articles and peer reviewed book chapters

  • Waltorp, K, Freng Dale, R., Fonck, M. & du Plessis, P. (Forthcoming). Imagining Energy Futures beyond Colonial Continuation. In Energy Futures: Anthropocene Challenges, Emerging Technologies and Everyday Life, edited by S. Pink, N. Ortar, K. Waltorp & S. Abram, De Gruyter.
  • Fonck, M., Saskia Brill & Noemi Quagliati (2020). Writing with landscape-A workshop with Laura Watts. Seeing the Woods. https://seeingthewoods.org/2020/03/20/writing-with-landscape/.
  • Di Giminiani, P., Buschmann, J. and Fonck, M. (2019). Cañi, Chile: A Sensory Engagement with the Question of Multiplicity in Forest Conservation. The Ethnobotanical Assembly (TEA) https://www.tea-assembly.com/issues/2019/2/1/cai-chile.

Selected Lectures

  • (2021). "The Fugitivity of Water": Steam and Underground Water Aesthetics in Scientific and Political Imaginations of Subterranean Spaces. Paper presented at the Conference "Waterworlding. Reflecting on multiple waters" at the University of Marburg.
  • (2020). "Traces of an exploration" an ethnographic approach to the production of geothermal energy futures in the Chilean Andes Mountains. Paper presented at European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA), Lisbon, Portugal.
  • (2020). "Underground Exploration": Textures, Scales and Embodied Engagements Producing Geological Knowledge in Chilean Andes". Paper presented at Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) and the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology Conference, Prague, Czech Republic.
  • (2019). Presentation at "Energies and Technologies Futures" workshop organized by the Future Anthropologies and Energy Anthropology Network (European Association of Social Anthropologists), Lyon, France.
  • (2018). Presentation at European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA), at the panel Energy in motion [Energy Anthropology Network], Stockholm.
  • (2018). Presentation at the workshop "Anthropocene and Citizen Science: Evidence Gained through the "Opening-up" of Academic Knowledge Production?" organized by DFG research group "Practicing Evidence - Evidencing Practice", Deutsches Museum, Munich.
  • (2017) Panel coordination "Science, collaboration and affects" at the International Conference Knowledge/Culture/Ecologies at the Universidad Diego Portales, Santiago.

Invited Presentations and Workshops

  • (2021) "An invitation to the journey of the Natural Laboratories: the experiences of landscape in Chile", organizer (with Ricardo Rozzi) and presentation at the workshop "Natural laboratories in the extreme zones of Chile: From Hand-Lenses to Telescopes to explore the Micro- and Macro-Cosmos" with Sub-Antarctic Biocultural Conservation Program and Omora Ethnobotanical Park, the General Consulate of Chile in Munich, General European Southern Observatory and the Rachel Carson Center, LMU Munich.
  • (2020) Organizer (with Saskia Brill & Noemi Quagliati) at the workshop "Writing with landscape", a writing workshop with Laura Watts at the Rachel Carson Center, LMU Munich.
  • (2019) Presentation at the seminar "Mensch - Umwelt - Natur in Lateinamerika" at LMU Latin America Network.
  • (2019) "Landscape and ethnography", presentation at the series of the master program of Landscape Architecture: LANDSCAPE THEMATICS - Is Landscape...? by Professor Romy Hecht at the School of Architecture, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.
  • (2019) Presentation and workshop at International Symposium: Interdisciplinarity Revisited at the Humboldt Forum, organized by Volkswagen Foundation and Humboldt Universität zu Berlin.
  • (2019) Production, Sound recording, Ethnographic Research, Script, Co-created with Josefina Buschmann and Piergiorgio di Giminiani in the Documentary short film "Cañi". Presentation at the cinema-forum "De semillas, bosques, ríos y personas: enredos e imaginaciones desde el sur" organized by the Museo de sitio Castillo de Niebla, Valdivia and "Green Screens Without Borders" at the Rachel Carson Center, LMU Munich.
  • (2017) Collaboration and ethnographic register at the experimental workshop "The Anthropocene in Chile: current challenges, possible futures" convened by Prof. Dr. Manuel Tironi and Prof. Dr. Cristian Simonetti at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Marine Costal Research Station in Las Cruces.
  • (2017) "Encuentros con un roca: una invitación al cuidado afectivo de la tierra". El cuidado de la tierra: Centro de Estudios Públicos (CEP). Santiago, Chile.
  • The year's dissertation prize awarded by the Faculty of Cultural Studies, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU).
  • A scholarship awarded from the Chilean National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development (CONICYT), to pursue a Doctoral Program at Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society and Institut für Ethnologie, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU).
  • Fieldwork research funding supported by the program Promovierendenförderung GCCW (Global Cultures - Connecting Worlds). Fakultät Für Kulturwissenschaften- Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München