Elena Cirkovic

Dr Elena Cirkovic


Dr.Cirkovic’s research project “Anthropocentrism and Sustainability of the Earth System and Outer Space (ANTARES)” aims to connect the Earth System and Outer Space with the application of complex systems approaches, critical theory, and posthuman approaches in contemporary thought. The project was started in 2017 at the Erik Castrén Institute (ECI), University of Helsinki. Dr. Cirkovic has been collaborating  with the MIT Media Lab, Space Enabled Research Group since 2020, where she is an affiliated researcher. The Space Enabled Research group is led by Professor Dr. Danielle Wood. The mission of the Group is to advance justice in Earth’s complex systems using designs enabled by space. ANTARES identifies and connects environmental challenges on Earth and outer space, including, inter alia,  climate change (the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the Arctic),  orbital debris, and light pollution. There is, as of yet, no comprehensive socio-legal framework that takes a macro/cosmic bird-eye view of these problems identifiable in the Earth system and outer space. ANTARES proposes a transdisciplinary term to encompass the process of learning and law-making through which the law would recognize the unpredictability of human/non- human relations: cosmegal. The project was funded by the Kone Foundation (Finland); Arctic Avenue Grant (Helsinki University and Stockholm University); and The Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions at the University of Haifa. 

Dr. Cirkovic completed her PhD at the Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto in 2010. She studied Landscape Architecture at the University of British Columbia (2012-2014, incomplete). She is also a member of the BioArt Society (Helsinki) and is an Artist in Residence at the University of Westminster Law and Theory Lab. Dr. Cirkovic served as an associate expert for the McGill Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space (MILAMOS); SATCON2 Observations Working Group on the final report; and the International Law Working Group Report convened by IAU, UNOOSA, NSFʼs NOIRLab, on Dark and Quiet Skies.