Techne: Evidence in the Anthropocene

Techne is a documentary series based on diverse sets of research from a wide range of experts in fields such as philosophy, zoology, astrophysics, planetary science, robotics, and Artificial Intelligence among other fields. The aim of the series locates these research groupings as being in direct conversation with the inquiries of contemporary artists and the ways that the term “artist” has become a catch-all for generating ideas in fields such as philosophy, archaeology, cultural anthropology, law, biology, technology, and various other disciplines. Through analyzing case studies involving the evolution of humans, the natural world, and the amplification of technologies, Techne forms an epistemology of the present that models generative bodies of evidence.

Techne: Evidence in the Anthropocene telescopes between galactic and planetary evidence that is presented by scientists and artist-investigators who contemplate both deep time and the fate of the human species. Using the framework of a simulation model developed at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory that considers the probability for intelligent life to occur in the Milky Way galaxy, as well as the potential for self-annihilation; new forms and methods of investigation are highlighted. By moving back and forth between dystopian landscapes, forgotten technologies, legal conditions, and forensic traces a web of interconnected realities emerges through seemingly disparate sets of ideas and research methods. Evidence in the Anthropocene is about an era that is marked by a crisis of imagination and travels with these scientists and artists to explore the lush landscape of a remote Indonesian palm oil plantation; the abandoned ruins of a former nuclear test site in the Bikini Atoll lagoon that now appears as a sub-natural alien megastructure; the concept of the “material witness” in the context of the legal imagination; and gestures towards colonizing other planets and the “cone of imaginable possibilities” by developing weaving prototypes in zero gravity.

The Long Tail of the Future: Techne and Revising the Golden Record

The LACMA Art + Technology Lab in collaboration with Caltech presents the premiere screening of Techne: Evidence in the Anthropocene, directed by Daniel R. Small, with a panel discussion to follow.

Techne telescopes between galactic and planetary evidence presented by scientists and artist-investigators who contemplate both deep time and the fate of the human species. The film brings together scientists from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (which Caltech manages for NASA), Jonathan H. Jiang, and Kristen Fahy, as well as artists Julian Charrière, Susan Schuppli, and Ebru Kurbak.

Following the 48-minute screening, stay for a panel discussion and announcement about a new interstellar messaging effort to revise the Golden Record. The panel will include Jonathan H. Jiang, Ann Druyan (Creative Director and collaborator with Carl Sagan, her husband, on the Golden Record), and Techne director Daniel R. Small. The discussion will be moderated by Daniel Oberhaus, science and technology journalist and author of Extraterrestrial Languages (2019).

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Directed by: Daniel R. Small
Executive Producers: Daniel R. Small, Fernando Sanchez
Produced by: Riccardo Maddalosso
Edited by: Fernando Sanchez
In Association with: LACMA Art + Technology Lab
Cast: Jonathan H. Jiang (NASA JPL), Kristen Fahy (NASA JPL), Julian Charrière, Susan Schuppli, Ebru Kurbak
Director of Photography: Johannes Förster, Steven Heuer, Fabian Moser, Susan Schuppli
Visual FX: Chris Parks
Post Sound Services: Tonemesa Inc, Nathan Van Hala
Drone Operators: Khalil S Nabelsi, Steven Heuer
Music by: Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, Félicia Atkinson and Stephen O’ Malley, Stephen O’ Malley, Aaron Lepley

Techne: Evidence in the Anthropocene is produced in partnership with: LACMA Art+Technology Lab, MIT Media Lab Space Exploration Initiative, and the Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien (University of Applied Arts Vienna)

Copyright © 2024 Daniel R. Small. All rights reserved.