Becoming earthlings, Paris , 21st November 2015
The term Anthropocene, which first emerged during the 1990s and has been in common parlance since 2015, signifies a new geological era marked by the lasting physical impact of human activity on the environment. Behind the term, which lends itself so well to debate, given that "humankind" continues to impose itself on everything, there are many questions: what does it mean to "live in the Anthropocene era" ? How should we approach it ? How will we as humans evolve ? The Blackmarket was simultaneously an event, a performance, a site of debate, and a performance space in which to attempt to describe the situation and our relationship to it, and to interrogate the tendency we as human beings have to measure everything according to the scale of the human.
As one event among many that took place during the world climate summit, the Blackmarket played a slightly unusual role. It functioned as a site of observation and of production within which 75 experts took part in face-to-face conversations with members of the public. Stories, experimental reflections, and daily exercises were offered as a way of defining the human in new proportions. Experts and members of the public came together to create a multidisciplinary, multidimensional arena of knowledge, specifically for sounding out and calling forth "future earthlings", and to offer an alternative way of conceiving a political ecology of the future.
First produced in 2005 by theatre director Hannah Hurtzig (Mobile Academy Berlin), le Blackmarket for Useful Knowledge and Non-Knowledge has taken place twenty times all over the world, each time on a different theme. This was the first time it has taken place in France, at the invitation of the art organisation Council and the Cuesta cooperative.