Kris Decker’s work is essayistic. Kris gets lost in scientific and artistic subcultures, wondering how their thought styles and matters of concern come into being.
A current book project is concerned with the public life of climate issues as they oscillate between the realms of climate activism and the arts.
Kris studied in the French- and German-speaking parts of Switzerland, conducted fieldwork among a group of climatologists and completed a dissertation in Science Studies at the University of Lucerne. There, Kris worked as a researcher and taught a variety of STS classes, interspersed with stays at Queen’s University (Canada) and ETH Zurich.
Bewildered by lecture halls and classrooms as sites of observation, Kris started to erratically examine the norms and forms of contemporary academic training (as part of a still ongoing side-project with Christoph Hoffmann). That endeavor is described in a recent Social Studies of Science article.
Beyond the confines of STS, Kris delves into artistic research. Kris worked at Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) and was a member of Christoph Schenker’s Hands-on team, observing art-in-the-making in a lithographic atelier. The Swiss National Science Foundation then endowed Kris with a SPARK grant, which made it possible to run the Academized Artists project and to engage with epistemological questions in the arts, together with Jules Sturm and Vera Gujer.
In 2020, Kris’ work ›Im Hinterland der Daten‹, which deals with the day-to-day practices and thought styles of historical climatologists, received the Merkur Prize in Berlin. In 2023, the book ›Maschinen unter Druck‹ was nominated by the Stiftung Buchkunst to its annual shortlist.
In October 2022, Kris became a KWI International Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities here in Essen.
climate issues in the sciences and the arts / contemporary climate activism / Science Studies / Artistic Research / fieldwork and its discontents / …
- Decker, K. & Hoffmann, C. (2023). Training Scenes. Taking Science Studies to the Classroom. Social Studies of Science, 53(3), pp. 402–426.
- Decker, K. (2022). Maschinen unter Druck. St. Gallen/Berlin: Vexer Verlag.
[English edition: Machines Under Pressure. Translated by Mark Kyburz. Vexer Verlag.]
- Decker, K. (2020). Exkursion ins Hinterland. Merkur, Bd. 855, Jg. 47, pp. 41–52.
- Decker, K. (2018). Data Struggles. The Life and Times of a Database in Historical Climatology. Social Science Information, 57(1), pp. 6–30.
- Decker, K. (2018). Materialschicksale. Randnotizen zur Klimaforschung. Nach Feierabend: Zürcher Jahrbuch für Wissensgeschichte, 14, pp. 13–36.
- Decker, K. (2017). Translation of: Gaston Bachelard, Le surrationalisme. In: Wulz, M. (Hg.), Der Surrationalismus, Konstanz: Konstanz University Press, pp. 71–80.
Artistic research work
- Das Klimaziel, longue durée, 2019—
- with Lea Schüpbach & Barbara Steiner: 101 Fragen an die Klimabewegung, 2021—