Bernard Stiegler, Bruno Latour, Materialism, Noortje Marres, Ontological Politics, Open: Cahier on Art and the Public Domain, Performativity

Open: Cahier on Art and the Public Domain. No 24: Politics of Things (What Art & Design Do In Politics)

From the website of SKOR/Foundation of Art and Public Domain:

In 2005, in the book and the exhibition Making Things Public: Atmospheres of Democracy (see here), Bruno Latour and Peter Weibel asked themselves how democratic politics could function better and what the role of things, objects, issues and art might be within that.  Open24 investigates the current state of affairs in the theory and practice of the ‘Politics of Things’. What does a thing like ‘art’ do in democracy, how does art make publics, how does a thing interact with other things and people, and how does it influence them?

Jeroen Boomgaard shows how the politics of things offers purchase for actual practice, while Sher Doruff urges more abstract and philosophical reflections. Peter-Paul Verbeek demonstrates how art can examine the political role of things. Noortje Marres uses the example of the teapot to analyse the political role of technology, things and issues. Bernard Stiegler philosophizes on the technical condition under hyper-capitalism. His essay is introduced by Pieter Lemmens. Pascal Gielen proposes that the ‘Art Thing’ can encourage a democratic autonomy. Peter Peters and Ruth Benschop reconsider the public work of art Tilted Arc by Richard Serra. Fiona Candlin investigates the public significance of the Vintage Wireless Museum in London. Mariska van den Berg examines how the relation between citizens and the government can be reinterpreted by art. Plus, a visual contribution by Yvonne Dröge Wendel and her Object Research Lab, with a dialogue by Sher Doruff and Maartje Hoogsteyns.

Editors: Jorinde Seijdel, Liesbeth Melis
Guest editors: Jeroen Boomgaard, Peter Peters, Sher Doruff, Yvonne Dröge Wendel

Open 24: Politics of Things. What Art & Design do in Democracy
English edition ISBN 978-94-6208-030-0 | Paperback | 128 p | 17 x 24 cm | Illustrated

Biography of an investigation, Bruno Latour

Latour’s philosophical biography?

Yet another new article is available from Bruno Latour’s website. Biography of an Investigation is a written culmination of his ‘philosophical anthropology’ or ‘anthropological philosophy’ which he developed during the last 25 years. At the same time it is, perhaps, a preliminary to his forthcoming work on modes of existence? A notion on which Latour elaborated earlier here and here.

As he has it: ‘Between the science of being-as-being, the venerable discipline of ontology, and the science of being-as-other, anthropology, new bonds can be woven [..] To answer [..] questions of philosophical anthropology, of regional ontology (!), we need a method that provides an adequate depiction of the situations to be described. How many sensors are needed to do justice to the values deployed by the Moderns? I have been struggling to identify these sensors, in the hope that this brief return to the origins of my investigation will spur some readers to help me carry it out.’




An Inquiry Into Modes of Existence, Bruno Latour

Bruno Latour: An inquiry into modes of existence (French summary of chapters)

Just found out that the French version of the Intro and summary of chapters of Bruno Latour’s forthcoming book An Inquiry Into Modes of Existence (Harvard University Press) is available. As it is stated on his website:

‘The result of a twenty five years inquiry, it offers a positive version to the question raised, only negatively, with the publication, in 1991, of ”We have never been modern”: if ”we” have never been modern, then what have ”we” been? From what sort of values should ”we” inherit? In order to answer this question, a research protocol has been developed that is very different from the actor-network theory. The question is no longer only to define ”associations” and to follow networks in order to redefine the notion of ”society” and ”social” (as in ”Reassembling the Social”) but to follow the different types of connectors that provide those networks with their specific tonalities. Those modes of extension, or modes of existence, account for the many differences between law, science, politics, and so on. This systematic effort for building a new philosophical anthropology offers a completely different view of what the ”Moderns” have been and thus a very different basis for opening a comparative anthropology with the other collectives – at the time when they all have to cope with ecological crisis. Thanks to a European research council grant (2011-2014) the printed book will be associated with a very original purpose built digital platform allowing for the inquiry summed up in the book to be pursued and modified by interested readers who will act as co-inquirers and co-authors of the final results. With this major book, readers will finally understand what has led to so many apparently disconnected topics and see how the symmetric anthropology begun forty years ago can come to fruition.’

Bruno Latour, Deleuze, Gabriel Tarde, Monadology, Nigel Thrift, Non-Representational Theory

Digital monads? Bruno Latour on the development of a Tardean social theory

Bruno Latour – The Whole is Always Smaller Than Its Parts. A Digital Test of Gabriel Tarde’s Monads

This article by Bruno Latour explores the value of Gabriel Tarde’s concept of monads for data digitalization – a method that can accordingly be seen as an experimental sociological tool. At the same time, it argues that the new possibilities and experience of following individuals through their connections can redefine neo-monadology as a navigational ontology. It is remarkable that the authors do not take up Nigel Thrift’s notion of nomads as an updated and relational version of traditional ‘windowless’ monads – a notion that he develops in his great Non-Representational Theory. This conceptualization would also allow for a more direct assessment of the Tardean influence in Deleuze’s social theory, an influence that is well worth elaborating from the perspective of statistics and quantification.

Bruno Latour, Graham Harman, Levy Bryant, Materialism, Object Oriented Ontology, Peter van Ingwagen

materialism without materials (or; clouds are elementary particles arranged cloudwise)

The most common misunderstanding about object-oriented ontology is probably that it entails a rigid materialism. Since it talks of ‘materials’ and often does this with reference to ‘beings’ it seems not unfair to label it as a contemporary ‘materialist ontology’ (reminiscent of both Lucretius’ atoms and different Marxist positions). And a title like Material Beings would probably count as a good candidate for any object-oriented publication.
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