The Science Station

Science on the platform edge

“Anthropos” – mankind – is intervening in the earth system in a way never seen before – with consequences for nature and people themselves. The technical inventions of humans and the nature of their economic activities have shaped social interactions and severely tested their relationship to the environment. Science is turning its focus to the problems: from ecology and climate research to history, sociology and anthropology. Huge amounts of data are being collected, which computer science and mathematics use to calculate models for the present and the future.

The exhibition by the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin at the Science Station, Unter den Linden, visualises the work of such researchers using artistic means. The richly detailed pictures of hidden objects by illustrator Nele Brönner and the terms in the word clouds lead visitors into the different environments: up into the atmosphere, into the expanses of sea and ice, into life in the city, into the production landscapes of Field&Factory, and into the complex communities of Forest&Soil.

The exhibition is a joint project by the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, the Schiel Projektgesellschaft, Studio TheGreenEyl, the Büro für prekäre Konzepte (Office for Precarious Concepts) and the illustrator Nele Brönner.

Längsschnitt des U-Bahnhofs "Unter den Linden"

Längsschnitt des U-Bahnhofs "Unter den Linden"

(© © bünck+fehse)

Of hidden object pictures and word clouds

Elements of various sizes, types and origins populate the panels in the underground station. Richly detailed pictures of hidden objects and word clouds shift from one image to another. Terms representing major concepts build bridges between the worlds. They all evoke objects, substances and processes that characterise our complex present – a present in which the smallest and largest of things, the individual and the innumerable, and geological, biological and man-made processes are interconnected in a variety of ways.

At the same time, the activities of industrial modernity, which are revolutionising the world, have assumed such monstrous dimensions that they threaten the continued existence of the earth as a habitat. Probably one of the greatest challenges is recognising mankind’s inextricable and omnipresent entanglements and dependencies with and on the earth’s habitat and the elements that comprise it, from the smallest to the greatest. This applies just as much to the way in which we treat the earth as to our self-image as humans and descriptions of our present position within human, biological and geological history.

The collages of hidden objects and word clouds on the platform of the Science Station are an attempt at doing justice to this position and the overwhelming multiplicity and complexity associated with it. Like stones of a mosaic, they collectively piece together the images of the six environments of the Anthropocene that we have addressed. On this website, we take three elements and explain why we have integrated them into our hidden object pictures. There are links behind some of the highlighted phrases. You can click on these to access further information, videos and webpages from research institutions.


Visit the Science Station, close to Humboldt-Universität


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opened Fri. 04. Dec 2020
U-Bahn Station „Unter den Linden“

Unter den Linden
10117 Berlin

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