Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Institut für Europäische Ethnologie

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Institut für Europäische Ethnologie | Termine | Institutskolloquium im Sommersemester 2019

Institutskolloquium im Sommersemester 2019

  • Wann 23.04.2019 von 14:00 bis 16:00
  • Wo Hausvogteiplatz 5-7, Raum 0007
  • iCal

The air as the end of the city?

Nerea Calvillo (CIM, Warwick)



The air tends to be absent from urban politics, design, and imaginaries. Usually conceived as that what defines the end of the city, it is actually a structural component of urban environments. Today, its pollution is drawing attention to its agencies. And yet, the only legitimate ways of knowing and responding to air quality are technological “solutions” that are proving not to be enough. One of the reasons, I argue, is because the air’s materiality is not considered in its complexity. So to think about the air as an organic, inorganic, geological, chemical, technological and biological force, challenges our understanding of the city and of the air. To shape an urban cosmopolitics with the air, from a framework at the intersection of science and technologies studies, feminist technoscience and urban political ecologies, I suggest to use the heuristic of a city to identify Madrid’s urban assemblage. Madrid, as a very polluted but average European city, allows to think about the urban air of the every-day, the one that is invisible and mostly imperceptible. The heuristic of the city, as a speculative project, allows to spatialize the air, and makes visible its political and social implications. How can this approach contribute to new framings of the air and the urban?


Nerea Calvillo is an architect, researcher and curator, Assistant Professor at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies (University of Warwick). The work produced at her office, C+ arquitectas, and her environmental visualization projects like In the Air have been presented, exhibited and published at international venues. Her research investigates the material, technological, political and social dimensions of environmental pollution. This has led her to analyse notions of toxicity, digital infrastructures of environmental monitoring, DIY and collaborative forms of production, smart cities and feminist approaches to sensing the environment. Her current research is on toxic politics, pollen, atmospheres and queer urban political ecologies.


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