SHIFT REGISTER is a research project investigating how technological and infrastructural activities have made Earth into a planetary laboratory. The project maps and activates local dynamics and material shifts between human, earthly and planetary bodies and temporalities. Contemporary, mainstream science and technology are intersected with other knowledge systems to attempt a reconfiguration of relations between humans and the earth. SHIFT REGISTER is Jamie Allen, Martin Howse, Merle Ibach, Jonathan Kemp and Martin Sulzer at the Critical Media Lab, Basel
Whether you smelt it, mine it, burn it, breathe it, or shove it up your ass the result is the same: addiction.
Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing earthly disease that is characterized by compulsive seeking and use of earth products, despite harmful consequences. It is considered a brain disease because humankind changes the earth—they change its structure and how it works.
Soft Sickness is a one day workshop hosted by the research project Shift Register (http://shiftregister.info/) exploring the signs, symptoms, circulations, exchanges, consumptions, dependencies, and management implicit in the multifarious and pathological dependence on the earth which is now named by that word “Anthropocene”. Earthly addictions produce quantified-earth self-portraiture, GIS co-dependencies, and all other variants of planetary narcissism. Earth-scale sensor systems and media networks, swathing the planet in information about itself, are unveiled with media from on- and off-planet earth science field-stations and reflections thereupon. Dependencies bring anxieties about the impending doom of resource dearths to come.
During the workshop, participants and invited guests will discuss, map, extract, ingest and excrete relations of local earth manifested in Finsbury Park in North London. We will gather psycho-active dew, imagine tales for the mole people, bake bread for crows, and make the earthworlds flesh.