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Julian Charrière in Critical Zones

For a long time, the earth's reactions to our human actions went unnoticed, but at the latest with the protest movement Fridays for Future, the climate crisis has become public awareness. The exhibition "CRITICAL ZONES" invites you to deal with the CRITICAL SITUATION of the earth in a variety of ways and to explore new modes of living together between all forms of life.

Everyone is now aware of the existential threat to our (shared) living conditions on planet Earth, but very few have any idea how to deal with this new CRITICAL situation. The citizens of many developed countries seem disoriented; almost as if you were asked to land on a new terroir - a new earth - the reactions to which they had long ignored.

The Earth as a network of CRITICAL ZONES

We want to make the following hypothesis: The best way to map this new earth is to view it as a network of CRITICAL ZONES. Created by various forms of life over time, these CRITICAL ZONES form a surface just a few kilometers thin. Those life forms had completely changed the original geology of the earth before humanity changed it again in the last centuries.

Over the years, scientists have set up numerous OBSERVATORS to study these CRITICAL ZONES. They have shown us the complex composition and the extreme fragility of this thin skin of the earth, in which all forms of life - including humans - have to live together.They have renewed the geosciences in a variety of ways, in ways that Alexander von Humboldt would have approved of.

A new turn towards EARTH

Scientists, artists, activists, politicians and citizens are increasingly realizing that society must not only orient itself towards the needs of mankind, but must become Earth again if it does not want to crash land. The "Modern" project has been in full swing for a long time, regardless of the planet's borders. Suddenly, however, there is a general shift towards Earth and a new awareness of how living things could inhabit it. POLITICS is no longer just about making decisions alone and exclusively for yourself; rather, POLITICS has become a much more complex undertaking. New forms of citizenship and new forms of attention and care for life forms are necessary to create a common ground.


Over a period of several months, the ZKM organizes an exhibition that simulates on a small scale the model of a new space and the variety of relationships between the life forms there. It serves as an OBSERVATORY OF CRITICAL ZONES, in which visitors can familiarize themselves with the new situation. This special combination of thought experiment and exhibition was developed by Bruno Latour and Peter Weibel as part of their previous collaboration at the ZKM. "Iconoclash" in 2002, "Making Things Public" in 2005 and "Reset Modernity!" In 2016 form the three previous "thought exhibitions" that resulted from their intensive, 20-year-old working relationship.

From May 22, 2020, 6:00 p.m., you will find the virtual exhibition platform »Critical Zones« here.

The opening of the exhibition (May 22, 20) and the streaming festival (May 22–24, 20) will be accompanied by Telegram. Follow the reports on the ZKM channel or join our Telegram Critical Zones group . We look forward to questions and feedback:

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