The Question of the Digital in the Anthropocene

Seminario DSRS
19 aprile 2023
Orario di inizio 
Palazzo di Sociologia - Via Verdi 26, Trento
Sala professori Piano I e Online
Organizzato da: 
Katia Pilati
Ingresso libero con prenotazione
Online su prenotazione
Katia Pilati


Adam Arvidsson, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II


The Silicon Valley model of digital society is crumbling: innovation is slowing down, profitability is declining and investment opportunities are ever more scarce. At the same time material transformations, such as climate change, biodiversity loss and other developments that can be summarized under the concept of the Anthropocene, along with geopolitical transformations, are rapidly creating the need for novel and innovative uses of digital technologies. But we do not yet have a clear model of ‘the digital’ coherent with this new situation. In this talk Arvidsson will present a work in progress that tries to pose the question of what the digital could look like in the Anthropocene, not meaning to engage in purely utopian speculation- there is already a lot of that, form Klaus Schwabs Industry 4.0 to Donna Haraway’s symbiotic cyborgs, but sociologically speaking: what challenges in terms of the social organization of production, value and risk do we need to address in order to pose the question of the digital in the Anthropocene- a question that, crucially, includes that of identity; of who ‘we ‘ are, what ‘historical block’ might be able to realize such a new model of the digital. The enquiry starts from the experience of the Covid pandemic, treaten as a sort of test- a ‘dress rehearsal’ the late Bruno Latour wrote- of the Silicon Valley model of the digital: a test which the speaker argues it largely failed. Based on that experience, he will extrapolate a number of challenges for the digital in the Anthropocene and confront them with the growing literature on speculative futures that has emerged in the last decades.


Katia Pilati, University of Trento


Lorenzo Beltrame, University of Trento


Attila Bruni, University of Trento