Provocation #3: The end of the world has already happened

Provocation #3

In late January 2020, Timothy Morton stated on the BBC: “We tend to think of the climate crisis as this impending disaster, but we already live in an age of mass extinction caused by global warning… The end of the world has already happened.”

How has this cognitive dissonance happened, Morton asks, and how do we get to a better place? In the aftermath of Australia’s devastating bushfires and still engulfed in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, these are questions we can no longer ignore. If the death knell has already sounded, how can we rethink our relationships with our environments, with each other, with all living entities? What do the Arts and Humanities offer in response to increasingly dire settings for the stories that we live and thus tend to craft? At a time when scientific research highlights the crucial importance of the Arts in education and  sustainability, are we to accept their progressive disappearance from the political radar and their pragmatic reduction to an easily quantifiable and controllable knowledge-system? 

Provocation #3 calls for provocateurs who envision what stands at the limits of our world and beyond; provocateurs who can respond to Timothy Morton’s question: “What’s the point? Does anything mean anything if we’re all going extinct?”


Book your tickets now via Eventbrite!

In the multimedia space of The Lab, join our keynote provocateurs Ali Gumillya Baker, Simone Ulalka Tur and Faye Rosas Blanch from the Unbound Collective, and Tom Bristow as they respond to Morton's statement, along with a exciting line-up of poets, performers, scholars and visual artists (including Patrick Flanery, Mandy Treagus, Ian Gibbins and Jonathan Dunk). For more information, please download the full program.


Provocations is a public forum tackling controversies in the arts and humanities. It occurs in collaboration with the Sydney Review of Books and is made possible through the generous support of the Hackett Foundation.



Tagged in public forum, The Lab, Tim Morton, event