Naše izdanje, knjiga “Modern Times” Jacquesa Rancièrea bit će predstavljena u Amsterdamu 3. prosinca u organizaciji Veem House for Performance i uz potporu izdavača Multimedijalnog instituta i Edicije Jugoslavija. Na predstavljanju knjige će Ola Maciejewska izvesti svoj tridesetominutni performance ‘Loie Fuller Research’.

Povodom gostovanja Brune Latoura u Zagrebu, Ante Jerić i Leonardo Kovačević razgovarali su s ovim filozofom, sociologom i antropologom koji je uvršten na 9. mjesto liste moćnika u svijetu umjetnosti.

Book Launch: Modern Times @ Amsterdam
December 3, 2017 : 15:00h

Ustupila MaMa

“Modern Times” – written by Jacques Rancière originally in English – is made of four texts, three of which have their origin in lectures given in several parts of ex-Yugoslavia at the invitation of Edicija Jugoslavija (Brussels/Belgrade) and Multimedijalni institut (Zagreb). The texts successively deal with politics, artistic modernity, dance and cinema.

The chapters are: (i) Time, Narration, Politics, (ii) Modernity Revisited, (iii) The Moment of Dance, (iv) The Times of Cinema.

“Modern Times” is a volume in which the author in systemic and synthetic manner presents his general reflection on time, while also pointing towards a common time or moments of emancipation. Those are for the author resumed perfectly in the gesture of a wave: between inactivity and activity, before and after there is always a common sea full of movements and moments ready to break the horizon of a predictably cemented present.

The book launch will include the 30 minutes performance ‘Loie Fuller Research’ by Ola Maciejewska.

The book launch is organized by Veem House for Performance and is supported by the publishers of the book “Modern Times” Multimedijalni institut (Zagreb) and Edicija Jugoslavija (Belgrade/Brussels).

Zagreb-Interview with Bruno Latour: Reading the World

On the occasion of his trip to Zagreb and Belgrade in September 2017, Ante Jerić and Leonardo Kovačević made an interview with Bruno Latour.

Ustupila MaMa

Ante Jerić: You are commonly described as sociologist and anthropologist known for his pivotal contributions to the science and technology studies. In the last decade, as you half-jokingly mentioned yesterday during the lecture, you are also praised as a philosopher. Putting all these qualifications aside, while reading your work, I was occasionally tempted to think of you as a literary theorist. There are two reasons for such assertion: first, your work is full of examples taken from literature and, as you have written, “you consider literature to be an instrument both for apprehending social reality and for producing ‘good sociology’”; second, and more importantly, your thinking has been informed by the towering figures of narratology, such A. J. Greimas: some of your central categories, such as the actant, have been borrowed from the latter, and then changed and repurposed to account for the social world. Can you describe in more detail how Greimas’ work has helped you to develop and refine your ideas?

Bruno Latour: Although I recognize there are disciplinary boundaries, I tend to conceive my work as a laboratory where you need as many different instruments as it is possible. I have never really understood why you would limit yourself to the specific instrument that does only one thing. You need as many instruments as the problem you are interested requires. For me, the link with the literature started with the attention to the letter of the text, with the exegesis, more specifically, with the the biblical exegesis, very important part of literature. I was born, philosophically speaking, in the period of the linguistic turn when the interest in literature, from Derrida, Barthes to Deleuze himself, was omnipresent. So, when I began to think seriously, it was hard to miss the importance of text as such and the materiality of the text. That is something that is not understandable anywhere else except in France of that period. In America or England, for instance, people cannot focus on the text as such, as textuality, as writing. So, in attempt to make things more systematic, let us say there are, from the outset, three lines that connect me to literature: the first is cultural climate, so to speak; the second is exegesis; and the third is my encounter with the semiotics, with the Greimasian school in San Diego, through a man called Paolo Fabbri, one of the main figures of Greimasian semiotics. I immediately saw the usefulness of that set of technologies. Semiotics is a kind a toolbox that I applied to something which, at that point, had not really been studied with those tools – scientific texts. So, I made the connections between biblical exegesis, semiotics and scientific texts. Greimas is interesting because his work is not limited to texts, despite the fact that he himself had never really gotten out of field delimited by novels, stories and law. But there was nothing in semiotics as it was practiced at the time that would forbid its application to the matters of ontology. That fact enabled me to use his concepts and terminology. It was a really powerful vocabulary at the time, and it still is. The organon of Greimasian semiotics gives you immense freedom vis-à-vis the false realism of sociology and social theory. This advantage is completely uncomprehended by the social scientists because they believe that they do not write; they believe that they just describe the world. Most of my critique of the social sciences comes from literature.

Much later on, I got interested in another connection between literature and philosophy: philosophy itself is a way of writing. Abstraction and imagination are always elements of a certain style and I was interested in the philosophy as a medium. When in the PhD writing Workshop, which I have done for twenty years now, I am helping students to be attentive to the materiality of the text.

There is also my link with art. I realized that many of the problems we try to raise in the language of philosophy, in the specific medium of philosophy, you can find expressed in the other media – literature, theater, etc. So, I have established many connections with the people who are interested in this question.

I’ve been writing diaries since I was thirteen. Writing itself is thinking. You cannot think without writing, at least in our tradition. For us, thinking and writing are the same thing. In my latest book Facing Gaia, there are very important chapters dealing with literature, again, as an organon for beginning of understanding the agency of that what we regard as matter. I’ve spend a lot of time with Richard Powers, a great American novelist, discussing his book on forests. It was interesting to see how his characters could relate to trees which have agency and to compare his work with what I was doing in my own work. There is a common problem: how do we deal with agency? Semiotics can be helpful in addressing this problem.

Last year Rita Felski and Stephen Muecke edited a special issue of New Literary History dedicated to my work on these questions.

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