La Terraformación

Title: La Terraformación – Programa para el diseño de una planetariedad viable
Author: Benjamin Bratton
Publisher: Caja Negra
Nº pages: 160
Edition: 2021
Translation: Toni Navarro
ISBN: 978-987-1622-99-3


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In recent years, the ecological crisis and the fascination with the apocalypse have become recurring figures in our cultural imagination. As testimony to the ongoing catastrophe, ecocritical discourses proliferate that invite us to rethink our relationship with the planet and to generate new horizons beyond human exceptionalism. Because we have altered natural processes without deliberation and with devastating effects on planetary geochemistry, this volume postulates the urgency of a comprehensive plan for the design of a viable planet. The notion of “terraforming”, which in 20th century science fiction invoked the transformation of ecosystems on other planets so that they are capable of supporting life similar to that of the Earth, suggests that in the current context of the Anthropocene it is the Earth itself what we must terraform if we want it to remain a possible host for their ways of life.

Benjamin Bratton’s proposal is very far from degrowth environmentalism and a mere return to an idyllic and undisturbed nature. Critical of the technophobic legacy of the generation of ’68 and of the cultural relativisms of the folk left, Bratton’s terraforming combines Soviet utopian imagination with Californian theory and praxis in a geotechnical, geopolitical, and geophilosophical design project that aims to reorder the flows of planetary biochemistry in an anti-collapse sense. The implementation of a plan of this nature confronts us with the need to imagine a type of global governance that articulates political deliberation with the technological models necessary to understand the planetary scale of our challenges. Only when our society achieves the ability to print a planned direction to technological automatisms can we have a future for the planet.

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