Mon Apr 5, 02021, 11:30PM UTC
Bina Venkataraman, Vincent Ialenti, and Cristina Parreño Alonso
How to Foster Deep Time Thinking
Anthropologist, writer and deep-time thinker Vincent Ialenti (author of Deep Time Reckoning) joined our Long Now Boston conversation event on April 5, 02021, from Vancouver, British Columbia, and led us on a journey deep into the Earth under Finland, where the world’s first nuclear waste repository is now in operation.
Anthropologist, writer and deep-time thinker Vincent Ialenti (author of Deep Time Reckoning) joined our Long Now Boston conversation event on April 5, 02021, from Vancouver, British Columbia, and led us on a journey deep into the Earth under Finland, where the world’s first nuclear waste repository is now in operation. The lessons he learned there (as an anthropologist studying the “Safety Case” process for the site) are highly relevant to any efforts to project and to prepare for the long term.
Bina Venkataraman is the Editorial Page Editor of The Boston Globe, a fellow at New America, and has taught at MIT. She is the author of The Optimist’s Telescope, named a best book of the year by Amazon, Science Friday, and National Public Radio. Bina spoke with Long Now Boston in March of 2020: Long Term Thinking in an Age of Recklessness.
Vincent Ialenti is an Assistant Research Professor at George Washington University, and a MacArthur Postdoctoral Fellow at University of British Columbia. His new book, Deep Time Reckoning (MIT Press, 2020), draws on his anthropological fieldwork among Finland’s nuclear waste repository experts to propose imaginative strategies for envisioning far future worlds. He earned a PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology from Cornell University and a MSc in Law, Anthropology & Society from the London School of Economics.
Cristina Parreño Alonso is an architect, designer, and educator at the School of Architecture and Planning at MIT where her research Transtectonics explores cultural and environmental implications of expanded temporal sensibilities in architectural material practice. Her tectonic translations—material transfers across mediums and temporal scales, human and more-than-human—embody narratives that are told in the form of essays, exhibitions, and through architectural projects and installations that activate public spaces. Her firm, Cristina Parreño Architecture, has won several awards and architectural competitions. In 2014 she obtained the European award “40 under 40”. In 2015 she was selected emerging firm at the “Design Boston Biennial” where she exhibited her piece “Tectonics of Transparency: The Tower”. In 2017 she was selected by the City of Boston to install the permanent art installation “Deep Time Stories of JP” in the Hyde Square of Jamaica Plain in Boston. Her work was on view at the Schusev State Museum of Architecture in Moscow, in 2020, and she is one of the architects exhibiting in La Biennale di Venezia, 2021. As well as MIT Cristina has taught design studios at the State University of NY at Buffalo and Harvard GSD.
Cristina Parreño Alonso
Vincent Ialenti is an anthropologist, writer and deep-time thinker, and author of Deep Time Reckoning. He joined our Long Now Boston conversation event on April 5, 02021, from Vancouver, British Columbia, but for his book he spent years researching the efforts in Finalnd to identify, design and implement the world's first nuclear waste repository. That site is now in operation. The lessons he learned as an anthropologist studying the “Safety Case” process for the site, are highly relevant to any efforts to project and to prepare for the long term. Vincent concludes that a multi-disciplinary and multi-temporal process, which he calls “Deep Time Reckoning” is essential to properly address the impending environmental cascades of the Anthropocene and the growing cultural attitudes he names as the “deflation of expertise.” Vincent’s compelling presentation was followed by an extended panel conversation with special guests, Bina Venkataraman and Cristina Parreno Alonso, both former Long Now Boston speakers.
For the full conversation please check out the event video.