Making Things Public: Atmospheres of Democracy

Making Things Public: Atmospheres of Democracy 1072 pages Publisher The MIT Press

Edited by Bruno Latour and Peter Weibel


„Back to things!“ – This is the new motto of what Bruno Latour and Peter Weibel call an „object-oriented democracy.“ For the more than 100 writers, artists, and philosophers assembled in this groundbreaking editorial and curatorial project, politics is not just a profession, sphere, or system, but a concern for things. Yet though the very word „republic“ (res publica) is already full of „things“ – things made public – it is these same things that are always forgotten. Through more than 900 illustrations and over 100 essays, this collection scarches for democracy beyond the official sphere of professional politics, and explores public assemblies too often left out of a narrowly-defined discourse: laboratories, assembly lines, supermarkets, trade rooms, courts of law, bureaucratic institutions, churches, and natural resources such as rivers and climates.
This collection itself presents a significant public assembly, joining such prominent thinkers as Richard Rorty, Simon Schaffer, Peter Galison, and Peter Sloterdijk with the likes of Shakespeare, Swift, La Fontaine, and Melville. Ranging from the distant past to the troubled present, this collective effort examines the atmospheric conditions in which things are made public, and reinvests political representation with the materiality it has been lacking. This book, and the ZKM show that it accompanies, aims to trigger new political passions and interests in a time when people need, more than ever, new ways to have their voices heard.

Table of contents

Bruno Latour – From Realpolitik to Dingpolitik – or How to Make Things Public
Excerpt: Jonathan Swift on the Difficulty of Talking with Objects…

1. Assembling or Disassembling?

Elizabeth Edwards – A Palaver at Tutuila Samoa, 1883. Two Photographs by Captain William A.D. Acland
Philippe Descola – No Politics Please
Masato Fukushima – On Small Devices of Thought: Concepts, Etymology and the Problem of Translation
Amiria Henare – WAI 262: A Maori “Cultural Property” Claim
Angela Zito – “This Is Not a Façade”
Pascale Bonnemère, Pierre Lemonnier – An Election in Papua New Guinea
Pierre Lagrange – Diplomats without Portfolios: The Question of Contact with Extraterrestrial Civilizations

2. Which Cosmos for Which Cosmopolitics?

Giuseppe Pavanello – Good and Bad Government: Siena and Venice
Simon Schaffer – Sky, Heaven and the Seat of Powers
Michael Hagner – The Pantheon of Brains
Anita Herle – Transforming Things: Art and Politics on the Northwest Coast
Elizabeth Edwards, Pete James – “Our Government as Nation”. Sir Benjamin Stone’s Parliamentary Pictures
Excerpt: John Dewey on the Pragmatist Good Government
Thomas Locher – Allegories of the Political

3. The Problem of Composition

Dario Gamboni – Composing the Body Politic: Composite Images and Political Representation, 1651-2004
Simon Schaffer – Seeing Double: How to Make Up a Phantom Body Politic
Excerpt: William Shakespeare on the Parable of the Members and the Stomach
Noortje Marres – Issues Spark a Public into Being. A Key but Often Forgotten Point of the Lippmann-Dewey Debate
Michel Jaffrennou, Thierry Coduys – Mission Impossible: Giving Flesh to the Phantom Public
Peter Cornwell – „runners up“ – A Psychometric Installation for Exhibition Spaces
Ismael Celis – InterSections/ZKM. A Project.
Denis Laborde – Freedom for Music! Intuition and the Rule
Ana Miljacki – Classes, Masses, Crowds: Representing the Collective Body and the Myth of Direct Knowledge

4. From Objects to Things

Gísli Pálsson – Of Althings!
Barbara Dölemeyer – Thing Site, Tie, Ting Place – Venues for the Administration of Law
Graham Harman – Heidegger on Objects and Things
Richard Rorty – Heidegger and the Atomic Bomb
Oleg Kharkhordin – Things as Res publica: Making Things Public
Angela Zito – Things Chinese: On wu
Mara Mills Dewey’s – Transactions: From Sense to Common Sense

5. From Laboratory to Public Proofs

Simon Schaffer – Public Experiments
Michel Callon – Disabled Persons from All Countries, Unite!
Bernard Reber – Public Evaluation and New Rules for “Human Parks”
Henning Schmidgen, Hans-Jorg Rheinberger – Circulations: A Virtual Laboratory and Its Elements
Hanna Rose – Shell Things under Water: E. J. Marey’s Aquarium Laboratory and Cinema’s Assembly
Peter Galison, Rob Moss – Wall of Science
Pablo Jensen – Making Electrons Public
Inge Hinterwaldner – “Actions of Interest“ in Surgical Simulators
Alberto Cambrosio, Andrei Mogoutov, Peter Keating – Making Collaboration Networks Visible
Claude Rosental – Making Science and Technology Results Public: A Sociology of Demos

6. The Great Pan Is Dead!

John Tresch – Viva la Republica Cosmica!, or the Children of Humboldt and Coca-Cola
Excerpt: Karl Polanyi on Dogs Eat Dogs or The Fable of Sociobiology
Vinciane Despret – “Sheep Do Have Opinions”
Jocelyne Porcher, Thierry Schweitzer – About Pigs
Donna Haraway – Chicken for Shock and Awe: War on Words
Chris S. Herzfeld – What Is It Like to Be Face to Face with a Great Ape?
Isabelle Mauz, Julien Gravelle – Wolves in the Valley: On Making a Controversy Public
Petra Adolfsson – The Obelisks of Stockholm
Werner Krauss – Coastal Environment Made Public: Notes from the Field

7. Reshuffling Religious Assemblies

Joseph Leo – Koerner Reforming the Assembly
Olivier Christin – Arguing with Heretics? Colloquiums, Disputations and Councils in the Sixteenth Century
Christophe Boureux – Dominican Constitutions
Anne-Sophie Lamine – Interfaith Celebrations, a New Rite?
Patricia de Aquino – Spokespersons of Gods

8. The Parliaments of Nature

Mario Biagioli – Galileo’s Traveling Circus of Science
Matthias Gommel – Rhine Streaming
Christelle Gramaglia – River Sentinels: Finding a Mouth for the Lot River
Jean-Pierre Le Bourhis – Water Parliaments: Some Examples
Cordula Kropp – River Landscaping in Second Modernity
Allan Sekula – The Lottery of the Sea. A Film in Progress
Cornel Bierens – The Path of Milk
Viestarts Gailitis – Milky Way
Excerpt: Farid ud-Din Attar on the Conference of the Birds

9. Which Assembly for Those Assemblages?

Valerie Pihet – The Detroit Industry Murals. Diego Rivera (1886-1957)
Wiebe E. Bijker – The Politics of Water: A Dutch Thing to Keep the Water Out or Not
Albena Yaneva – A Building Is a “Multiverse”
Nikolaus Hirsch, Michel Muller – The Architectural Thing. The Making of “Making Things Public”
Guillaume Monsaingeon – The Glory of Tournai
Bojidar Yanev – Who Is Minding the Bridges? (A Personal Inquiry)

10. Follow the Paper-Trails

Susan S. Silbey, Ayn Cavicchi – The Common Place of Law: Transforming Matters of Concern into the Objects of Everyday Life
Philippe Geslin, Ellen Hertz – Public International Indigenes
Angelika Stepken – The People of Karlsruhe – Constitutional Rights Square
Anke te Heesen – The Notebook: A Paper-Technology
Peter Galison – Making Things Secret
Peter Galison – Framed Secrets
Peter Galison, Robb Moss – Secrecy. Work-in-Progress toward a Feature-Length Documentary Film
Laurent Pfister, Anne-Genevieve Hakim, Frederique Andre-Rafatjah – The Image, between Res privata and Res communis

11. What’s Political in Political Economy?

Richard Powers – An Artificial Being
Daniel Beunza, Fabian Muniesa – Listening to the Spread-Plot
Alex Preda – The Stock Ticker
Emmanuel Didier – Releasing Market Statistics Bureau d’Etudes Capitalism Cartograms
Franck Cochoy, Catherine Grandclement – Chaffy Publicizing Goldilocks’ Choice at the Supermarket: The Political Work of Shopping Packs, Carts and Talk
Pauline Terreehorst, Gerard de Vries – The Parliament of Fashion
Antoine Hennion, Genevieve Teil, Frederic Vergnaud – Questions of Taste

12. The Political Aesthetic of Reason

Lorraine Daston – Hard Facts
Lisa Pon – Paint/Print/Public
Barbara Cassin – The Evidence of Phryne, or Phryne Stripped Bare by Rhetoric Even
Frank Hartmann – Humanization of Knowledge through the Eye
Eden Medina – Democratic Socialism, Cybernetic Socialism: Making the Chilean Economy Public
Jessica Riskin – Science in the Age of Sensibility
Richard Aczel, Morton Fernezelyi, Robert Koch, Zoltan Szegedy-Maszak – Reflections on a Table
Emilie Gomart – Political Aesthetics: Image and Form in Contemporary Dutch Spatial Politics
Frederique Ait-Touati – Public Experiments: On Several Productions of Bertolt Brecht’s The Life of Galileo

13. Parliamentary Technologies

Robert Koch – Re: Public
Jean-Philippe Heurtin – The Circle of Discussion and the Semicircle of Criticism
Excerpt: Abbe Sieyes on the Infinite Parliament
Nicolas Yazgi – Stranded Bodies of Democracy. Cases from the Indian Himalayas
Emmanuel Grimaud – How to Make a Still Picture Speak and Walk. The Fabulous Destiny of a Gandhi Follower
Ludger Schwarte – Parliamentary Public
Teresa Hoskyns – Designing the Agon: Questions on Architecture, Space, Democracy and “the Political”
Chantal Mouffe – Some Reflections on an Agonistic Approach to the Public
Ash Amin, Nigel Thrift, Helen Baker-Alder, Doreen Massey – Centers Don’t Have to Be Points: Politics beyond State Boundaries
Stephen Hilgartner, Michael Lynch, Carin Berkowitz – Voting Machinery, Counting and Public Proofs in the 2000 US Presidential Election
Ben Rubin – Dark Source: Public Trust and the Secret at the Heart of the New Voting Machines
Delphine Gardey – Turning Public Discourse into an Authentic Artifact: Shorthand Transcription in the French National Assembly
Jean-Noel Ferria, Baudouin Dupret – The Power of Representation: Parliaments of North Africa and the Middle East
Christian Nold – Legible Mob

14. A Search for Eloquence

Excerpt: Jean de la Fontaine on the Power of Fables
Barbara Cassin – Managing Evidence
Noortje Marres, Richard Rogers – Recipe for Tracing the Fate of Issues and Their Publics on the Web
Excerpt: Jonathan Swift on the Tricky Art of Conversation
XPERIMENT! What Is a Body / a Person? Topography of the Possible
Andrew Barry, Lucy Kimbell – Pindices Multiplicity BORDERDEVICE(S)
Lorenza Mondada – DOING BEcomING COLLECTIVE. The Constitution of Audience as an Interactional Process
Sabine Himmelsbach – Blogs. The New Public Forum – Private Matters, Political Issues, Corporate Interests
Cyrille Latour – Getting Together in the Cinema
Laura Naudeix – The Choirs in the Opera: Concocting Common Sense
Excerpt: Bertolt Brecht on how Dictators Learn Their Rhetoric from Shakespeare

15. New Political Passions?

Peter Sloterdijk – Dyed-in-the-Wool Citizens. Atmospheric Politics
Homi Bhabha – Still Life (on Ronnen Safdie’s photographs)
Paul Jobin – The Tragedy of Minamata: Sit-in and Face-to-Face Discussion Carbon Defense League MapHub: HEARD and MapMover
Sebastian Fischer, Lasse Scherffig, Hans H. Diebner – EyeVisionBot
Warren Sack – Agonistics: A Language Game
Golan Levin JJ – (Network Surveillance Tool / Empathic Data Visualization). A Carnivore Client by Golan Levin, May 2002
Boris Groys – The Fate of Art in the Age of Terror
Dominique Linhardt – The Trials of the World – a Fiction
Isabelle Stengers – The Cosmopolitical Proposal
Excerpt: Herman Melville on Bartleby or the Limit of All Politics Conclusion
Excerpt: Thomas Hobbes on Leviathan
Peter Weibel – Art and Democracy. From Enchantment to Enactment