Museum of Oil

A project by Territorial Agency and Greenpeace
ZKM Karlsruhe
Reset Modernity!
15 April – 21 August 2016

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We shall need to keep oil in the ground.
The difficult, growing and expanding understanding of the human impacts on the earth system, leads to a simple gesture, a simple intimation. Keep oil in the ground. Of course, this intimation seems to many unattainable. Firstly, who should keep it in the ground? We, or why not them?

We shall need to keep oil in the ground, yet it is the very core of our world and our economy. If we would keep it in the ground, our lives would need to change radically. Our institutions would need to be rethought.

The Museum of Oil is a new institution in the making. It is set amidst the making of the major knowledge event of our time, the di cult and unfolding capacity to understand the transformations of the Earth, and it is amidst the making of a new eld of work, research, projects and activism. Its aims are direct: to put the oil industry in the museum. To make it a thing of the past.

To make sure that oil is kept in the ground, the Museum of Oil outlines and registers how the oil industry has stretched itself so far that its territories have become fragile and untenable. They are violent, environmentally disruptive, and economically unstable.

The Museum of Oil collects information, items, objects, data, about the different ways through which we have come closer to the decisions (it will have to be many) to keep oil in the ground, halting its combustive so-called development sprees. It portrays in detail the forms of the territories shaped by oil, indicating the main elements for the complex negotiations to disentangle ourselves from it and make it a thing of the past and design an open future.



A project by Territorial Agency / John Palmesino, Ann-Sofi Rönnskog and Greenpeace

A first exhibition is on display at ZKM | Karlsruhe, in the ambit of GLOBALE and Reset Modernity! organised by Bruno Latour, AIME.

With the support of Greenpeace Environmental Trust, and the Istanbul Design Biennale


A new intensification is reshaping the surface of the planet: human changes to the Earth’s climate, land, oceans and biosphere are now so great and so rapid that the thesis of a new geological epoch defined by the actions of humans – the Anthropocene – is now being widely debated and articulated. This thesis is developing across a number of circuits, institutions, organisations, scientific and intellectual fields, all of which are equally affected by this unfolding discourse, as much as the environments in which they act.
Operating as an observatory, a composition of documentary practices and discourses, the project traces the formation of the Anthropocene thesis. Across a number of specific international agencies and organisations, information about scientific research is acquired, registered, evaluated, processed, stored, archived, organised and re-distributed. These behind-the-scenes processes and practices, that lead to the equally complex decision making procedures, form new discourses and figures of shift.

Combining film, photography, documentation, interviews, spatial analysis and fieldwork, the project develops from 2013 to form an archive and a series of installations, seminars, debates and cultural interventions.The Anthropocene Observatory documents these practices in a series of short films, interviews and documentary materials: aim of the project is to illustrate in detail the unfolding of the thesis of the Anthropocene in its many streams of influence.

Anthropocene Observatory is a collaborative project by photographer and film-maker Armin Linke, architects and urbanists John Palmesino and Ann-Sofi Rönnskog (Territorial Agency), and curator Anselm Franke.

The project is commissioned by Haus der Kulturen der Welt, in the ambit of the ‘Anthropocene Project’.

Anthropocene Observatory is a project by
Armin Linke, John Palmesino and Ann-Sofi Rönnskog (Territorial Agency), and Anselm Franke

Team: Giulia Bruno, Armin Linke, Tom Fox, Anselm Franke, John Palmesino, Sarah Poppel, Ann-Sofi Rönnskog




Polity and Space – The Coast of Europe

AA Architectural Association School of Architecture
Diploma Unit 4

As a work in progress, the notion of Europe challenges us to redefine contemporary space beyond continuous and extensive territorial entities, beyond the hierarchies and certainties of the nation and beyond the sweeping urbanisation processes: it holds back on them and reorganises the inhabited space in a series of differentiated individual transformations and disetaneous changes.A series of innovative processes – that reshape the links between the physical environment and the societies that inhabit them – contributes to the construction of the European space as an assemblage of layered and asynchronous environments in transformation.
The work at Diploma 4 envisions how architecture can connect to these processes and enter, take up or lay down these rhythms.

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The European Peninsula