Donnerstag, 11. Mai 2017

Footage of Alf Hornborg's Viennese Lecture & Workshop in April 2017

As several people have asked me to, I am putting the video footage of the lecture and workshop of Alf Hornborg on my blog.

Technological infrastructures developed in wealthier parts of the world are products of accumulation based on asymmetric global flows of biophysical resources from less affluent areas. Technological progress, in this view, is not so much a matter of ingenious and innocent breakthroughs in engineering as of devising new and profitable systems for displacing work and environmental pressures to other populations and geographical areas. This, I argue, is the essential rationale of globalized technological systems: rather than an index of generalized human progress – the pure, transcendent knowledge epitomized by the myth of Prometheus – technology since the Industrial Revolution is fundamentally an arrangement for redistributing resources in global society. Modern technology requires not just ingenuity and specialized knowledge, but also global discrepancies in market prices. It is thus as inextricably connected to societal injustices as slavery or serfdom.

Alf Hornborg is Professor of Human Ecology at Lund University since 1993. He received his Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Uppsala in 1986 and has taught at Uppsala and at the University of Gothenburg. He has done field research in Peru, Nova Scotia, the Kingdom of Tonga, and Brazil. His primary research interest is the cultural and political dimensions of human-environmental relations in past and present societies, particularly from the perspective of world-system analysis. This has led him to explore various perspectives not only from anthropology but also from trans-disciplinary fields such as environmental history, ecological economics, political ecology, and development studies. The central ambition has been to examine how specific cultural assumptions constrain human approaches to economics, technology, and ecology, and how such assumptions tend to serve as ideologies that reproduce social relations of power.

Lecture held on 24th of April 2017 at Depot Vienna, Workshop on the 25th of April 2017 at imflieger Vienna
Chair: Kilian Jörg, Bernd Kraeftner

Invitation by the Art & Science master’s programme, University of Applied Arts Vienna, in context of the lecture series “Natura Naturans: In the woods” (;
In cooperation with Im_flieger/Vienna, in context of the transmedia research project STOFFWECHSEL – Ecologies of Collaboration,
with differently involved artists and theoreticians, experimenting with structural and artistic entanglements.

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