Exhibition »Critical Zones«


Graphic for the exhibition »Critical Zones« at the ZKM Karlsruhe. In orange you can read »Critical Zones«, above a beige abstract map.

For a long time the reactions of Earth to our human actions remained unnoticed, and have now finally – not least due to recent international climate protests – moved into public consciousness. The exhibition project »CRITICAL ZONES« invites visitors to the ZKM | Center for Art and Media to engage with the critical situation of the Earth in a novel and diverse way and to explore new modes of coexistence between all forms of life.

In order to remedy the generally prevailing disorientation and dissension in society, politics and ecology with regard to the changing state of the planet, the exhibition project sets up an imaginary cartography, considering the Earth as a network of »Critical Zones«. The term »Critical Zone« is taken from the geo- sciences and describes the fragile layer of the Earth, its surface, which is only a few kilometers thin and on which life is created. In addition to emhasizing the vulnerability of this thin layer, the term also sheds light on the numerous controversies that have triggered new political attitudes towards it. Created by a wide variety of life forms over time, living organisms interact in these »Critical Zones«, but also earth, rock, water and air. Those life forms had completely transformed the original geology of the Earth, before humanity transformed it yet again over the last centuries.

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