Panel 21

A caring interest for the planet: making archives and readers *sensitive* in times of the new climatic regime

Organizers: Claudio Coletta (1); Paolo Giardullo (2)

1: University of Bologna, Italy; 2: University of Padua, Italy

Topics: Ecological transitions and climate justice; Knowledge co-creation, citizens science, co-design processes, material publics and grassroot innovation; Methodological challenges in a more-than-human world; Extractivist powers, imaginaries and asymmetries

Keywords: New climatic regime, care, interest, sensitiveness, publics, infrastructures

This panel addresses the sensitiveness of infrastructures and publics in times of entangled climate crises, focusing on the concepts of care and interest, archives and readers. Sensitiveness is thus intended as materially enacting and enacted by things, knowledge and practices, whether they be digital, organizational, bodily, or else. The idea of the panel draws on the following words by the writer Georgi Gospodinov in the novel Time Shelter (our translation): “Time and epochs mingle, somewhere in Siberia seeds which rested 30000 years beneath the thawing permafrost started blooming. The earth is going to open up its archives, although it is not clear whether there will be readers”. We believe that the quote raises challenging issues for STS: how to read and re-present the layered and connected crises featuring the new climatic regime? How to take care of more-than-human archives and make sure that there will be more-than-human readers? During the last decades STS scholars addressed in many ways the composition of the new publics brought by the crises, and yet such engagement and effort must be constantly actualized and maintained. The panel is inspired by the seminal work of Susan Leigh Star on invisibility and infrastructures and by the political-ecological endeavour of Bruno Latour, as well as by the many (STS) scholars that in the last decades contributed to unfold key STS concepts including care, ecology, publics, affectivity, attention, sensing. The panel invites thus to address the climatic regime by ‘working on the fringes’ between care and interest, taking into account the following question: how to compose new publics and materialize them into durable archives that mobilize attention and interest, and whose readers could become agents of care? Therefore, we invite to discuss approaches and ways of seeing, listening, doing and feeling that contribute to align archives and infrastructures as well as readers and publics, so as to be conducive to forms of sensitiveness and ethical-political agency for climate justice and just transitions. The panel welcomes theoretical/empirical contributions and experiments from SSH and STEM (including design, planning, art, and activism) where interests and calculations interact with attention and care, addressing (but not limited to) the following topics:

  • the making of archives and readers through scientific activism, 'citizen sensing', including the quasi-scholarly practices of artists, writers, activists, and more-than-human communities;
  • the modes of organizing sensitiveness and unsensitiveness in climate transitions;
  • the practices of care, as institutionalised, infrastructured and/or made visible/invisible;
  • the methods and the 'arts of attention' for developing a caring interest.