Technology at the Limits: Amazonia

Tuesday 16 June, 2015
7:30pm, $0

311 East Broadway

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Recent scientific discoveries have proven what communities in the Amazon could have long confirmed: rather than being a pristine natural environment, the Amazon rainforest is in fact a complex ecosystem terraformed in companionship with other animal and vegetal species. In contrast to such native knowledge, Amazonia has also long been a test site for extractive and cartographic technologies intent in making the region a productive site within capital. With this in mind, how has technology contributed to the perception and construction of Amazonia? And how can such technologies be subverted for justice claims over expropriation of indigenous lands and genocide?

In this discussion and screening, Deneb Kozikoski Valereto and Paulo Tavares will speak about modern technological incursions into the Amazon in the early twentieth century, and how a century afterwards remote-sensing technology used to calculate biomass carbon stocks and the rainforest’s health and role in climate systems may provide the tools for an archaeology of violence, such as in the genocide of Waimiri Atroari during the Brazilian Military Regime. By reading trees, soil, and botanical morphologies as evidences of past human interferences in the forest structure, these archaeologies reveals the deeply political, anthropogenic nature of the living forests of Amazonia as an environment historically and geologically shaped by human conflicts.

Paulo Tavares, architect and urbanist, Universidad Católica de Ecuador, Quito.
Deneb Kozikoski Valereto, Ph.D candidate at the Latin American and Iberian Cultures Department and Institute for Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University, New York.


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