Anthropocene: According to most scientists, the name of the new geological era we are entering into, characterised by the impact of human activities upon the planet. [synonymous]
Capitalocene: This new era might not be caused by humans in general (anthropos), but by a specific production system. Coined by the Swedish ecologist Andreas Malm, the word capitalocene emphasises the fact that what threatens the planet is human activity shaped by the capitalist mode of production.
The Seventh Continent: One of the most visible effects of the Anthropocene, beyond global warming, was the formation of a huge mass of waste called ‘The Seventh Continent’: 3.4 million square kilometres of floating plastic, 7 million tons of waste, forming vast islands in the oceans.
Molecularisation: Division of the existing masses – whether political, ideological, national – into smaller, sometimes tiny units.
Molecular Anthropology: The study of human effects, tracks or prints in the universe, and their interactions with non-humans. It is a continuous, expanded anthropology, going beyond the human species as such. It considers humans as a mass, divided in an infinite number of molecular cases. Artists observe the molecular structure of social realities.
Anthropology: ‘Philosophy with the people in’ in Tim Ingold’s words.
Perspectivism: A concept coined by the Brazilian anthropologist Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, referring to Amazonian mythology and cosmology, which sees human culture as what binds all beings together – animals and plants included – whereas they are divided by their different natures like their bodies. Viveiros de Castro wanted to move out from the Amerindian world, considered as a simple object of observation, and rather study the world from an Indigenous point of view, including its non-human components.
Xenology: From the greek xenos, foreigner. Xenology is the description of reality as a multiplicity of othernesses, singularities and alterities – a renewed notion of exoticism, here conceived as an expanded idea of diversity; an almost molecular diversity.
Savage: As artworks generate differences, each artist could be considered as the ‘foreigner’ or the ‘savage’ for each beholder of an exhibition, who spontaneously turns into an anthropologist immersed in an unknown society. Artists replaced savages.
Archaeology: According to the philosopher Giorgio Agamben, ‘[…] only archaeology allows an access to the present, for it retraces its course and its shadow, which the present casts on the past.’