_A SILENT OPERA FOR ANTHROPOGENIC MASS (2023)
_A Silent Opera for Anthropogenic Mass (2023)
An Opera by Joana Moll, with music by Roc Jiménez de Cisneros. The Opera has been commissioned by Transmediale, as part of Out of Scale. Co-produced by Transmediale and Institut Ramon Llull.
An online version of the Opera's libretto containing detailed information on the project is available here >>.
Media coverage of the Opera is available here: _Arte.tv (05/02/2023) >> & here: _TV3 News (06/02/2023) >>
A recent study performed at the Weizmann Institute of Science has determined that in the year 2020 the collective weight of the objects built by humans exceeded that of the total biomass of our planet. This estimate indicates that everything that humans have created, maintained or discarded (anthropogenic mass) weighs more than all the living things on earth combined (biomass). In a few words, this imbalance, in a process of constant acceleration, is radically eroding the biosphere’s ability to regenerate itself.
A Silent Opera for Anthropogenic Mass focuses on exploring the insidious, yet silent production of anthropogenic mass. It is precisely the silent quality of this process (from a human perspective) that makes it particularly critical, as it blinds us to consciously experience and identify the different realities left by this subtle, yet brutal, transformation of our natural ecosystems, making it increasingly difficult to re-imagine relationships and future paradigms consistent with our contemporary climatic, technological, and human conditions. Moreover, a form of collective amnesia named the Shifting Baseline Syndrome (SBS), is progressively challenging any shared initiative of restoring our relationship with nature. SBS is based on ‘a gradual change in the accepted norms for the conditions of a natural environment due to a lack of experience, memory, and/or knowledge of its past condition’. In other words, what a generation experiences as normal, can be radically different when another generation appears, and subsequently apprehend this emerging reality as normal. Thus, developing rituals aimed at experiencing the increasing cannibalization of ecologies, exemplified by the persistent increasing of anthropogenic mass, is an urgent exercise.
In the shape of a sound art and media installation, A Silent Opera for Anthropogenic Mass intends to perform the quiet metamorphosis of our life-giving habitats into anthropogenic mass. Ultimately, this project aims to highlight the subtle but continuous replacement of the natural order by technological progress, and reflect not only on the destruction of ecosystems but also on the difficulty of making climate change visible. The opera can be heard on the Tempelhofer Feld (Berlin) through a web app.