a prologue




The Anthroponaut's Wordbook
Art, science and a vital Anthropocene

Karin Fink

postmedia books 2021
180 pp. 32 ill.
limited edition with swiss binding
language: english
isbn 9788874903122


27 euro (sold out)

limited edition of 99 copies




There are days when I am overcome by a wave of sorrow, sadness and hopelessness when reading the news in the morning. The societal and environmental challenges we face seem to be immense. The gap between the current on-going depletion of natural resources, a pandemic, malnutrition, migration tragedies and the dream of a healthy life for everybody within a healthy natural environment couldn't be bigger. This book is an attempt to confront this overwhelming feeling of Weltschmerz - the notion of world-weariness - that I sometimes feel. It is a collection of hopeful thoughts to nurture the aspiration to think of the Anthropocene as a calling for humanity. I believe that if we want to respond to that call, we need to look at the knots that tie art and science, living and non-living beings into the mesh of life. It is there where possibilities for change manifest themselves. The wordbook is not meant to be read from the beginning to the end. The alphabetically ordered entries are simply a way to start a conversation, to create an initial relation between you, me, and all of us. With the mindset of an ambitious Anthroponaut we start sharing our thoughts, visions and ideas, and eventually, a network of resilient and creative people emerges. This is how we start our mission into the Anthropocene.

The scale of the societal and environmental challenges we face can be debilitating. Feeling powerless to change the course of events, the inclination to switch off can feel like self-defense. Karin Fink's response is both nimble and wise. Rather than confront the enormity of unfolding events head-on, she sets out to start conversations and foster relationships - one at a time. Rather than re-draw the whole picture at a stroke, her focus in this book is on small connections, and how to enhance them. This approach to connections and relationships echoes the words of Ilya Prigogene, a founder of systems thinking: "When a system is far from equilibrium", he wrote, "small islands of coherence have the capacity to shift the entire system".
_ John Thackara



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Karin Fink (born in 1975, Bern, Switzerland) is a geographer and Relational Designer. Scientific researcher working as an environmental policy advisor / Relational designer focusing on community-driven projects. The thematic focus of her work is on sustainability transformations, food, mobility and housing systems, as well as social and technological innovations. Currently she is leading the Swiss State of the Environment Report - a series of reports issued by the Swiss Federal Council addressing the Swiss Parliament. Karin Fink contributes to several European expert networks, mainly in the field of environmental reporting and outlook studies. She also engages in various projects aiming at bridging between policy makers, innovators, activists and artists. Karin Fink has a strong interest in transdisciplinary collaboration processes and often, her projects happen at the intersection of art and natural science, the digital and the analog space.

Karin Fink (è nata nel 1975 a Berna, Svizzera.) Geografa e
Designer relazionale, Karin Fink Ŕ una ricercatrice scientifica che lavora come consulente di politica ambientale e progettista relazionale, con un focus sui progetti basati sulla comunitÓ. Analizza i dati ambientali e li rende accessibili integrando le scoperte scientifiche nelle nostre esperienze quotidiane. Il focus tematico del suo lavoro riguarda le trasformazioni della sostenibilitÓ, il cibo, la mobilitÓ e i sistemi abitativi, le innovazioni sociali e tecnologiche. Contribuisce anche a reti europee, principalmente nel campo ambientale.