Posts Tagged ‘Bruno Latour’

Simultaneous publication.

Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

Welcome to the world of parallel publication. These days our new book is being printed and sent out to distributors. You can read many things on Negotiating Urban Conflicts : Interaction, Space and Control. Thanks to transcript Verlag – I am really looking forward to having the thing in my hands. You should too: go to your library and tell them to order it (or buy it yourself if your account allows spending about thirty Euros for a book you might not desperately need…)
At the same time, the website that accompanies my article goes online. Since it was not possible / too expensive to put a CD or DVD into the book I had to rely on other means to make the video and sound sequences that I analyze in the article accessible. I’m excited about this parallel publication in two media and we’ll see how it works out. The major backdraw is that I can’t publish the whole article online, since Transcript wants to sell the book. Too bad. I did not invest much time into the negotiation, but I will try to improve how this is negotiated with future publications. However, I fear this will be difficult, especially since I do not have the status of a Bruno Latour, who publishes most of his printed work online too. Kudos for being an example, M. Latour!
Regarding the multimedia content on the new website: it is possible to embed multimedia objects in a way that makes them display in most browsers. Usually, that would mean breaking web standards. It is also possible to use a trick or two to keep to standards and still display the content in most browsers. This was the way I chose for several years. But my patience has run dry and now I am using straightforward, standard-compliant code with neither tricks nor bells and whistles. The result is that Internet Explorer for Windows is not really doing very well with the page – surprise, surprise. The solution? Browse Happy.

Citation cereals change.

Thursday, October 30th, 2003

I put a new quote into the citation cereal section to the right – the new one is in German and it is prose, not social science/philosophy as the old one was. Here’s the old one for those that didn’t read it yet:

“Suspicion has rendered us dumb. It is as if the hammer of the critique had rebounded and struck senseless the critic’s head!
“This [text] is also a revision of the critical spirit, a pause in the critique, a meditation on the urge for debunking, for the too quick attribution of the naive belief in others. The devotees are not dumb. It is not that critique is no longer needed, but rather that it has, of late, become too cheap.
“One could say, with more than a little dose of irony, that there has been a sort of miniaturization of critical efforts: what in the past centuries required the formidable effort of a Marx, a Nietzsche, a Benjamin, has become accessible for nothing […] You can now have your Baudrillard’s or your Bourdieu’s disillusion for a song, your Derridian deconstruction for a nickel. Conspiracy theory costs nothing to produce, disbelief is easy, debunking what is learned in 101 classes in critical theory.” (Bruno Latour 2002, Iconoclash)

Bruno Latour. Iconoclash.

Tuesday, July 15th, 2003

Ein schöner, kurzer Text (76 Seiten, viele Bilder, Merve-Format). Latours Stil ist immer wieder anregend, offen und scheut sich nicht vor peinlichen Ausrufezeichen. Die Parallelisierung und gleichzeitige Unterscheidung zwischen Wissenschaft, Religion und Kunst ist spannend. Mir gefiel besonders der Typ der ‘acheiropoiete’. Ich verspüre zwar immer ein gewisses Unbehagen bei solchen klassizistischen Begriffen, aber der Typus der ‘acheiropoiete’ ist spannend. Gemeint sind Gegenstände, denen zugeschrieben wird, das sie nicht von Menschenhand geschaffen sind, wie beispielsweise die 10 Gebote, die von Gott kommen. Sind sind sakral und sind durch ihre Fremdgeschaffenheit nicht den Kriterien menschlicher Kritik unterworfen. Gleichzeitig jedoch liegt der geschaffene Charakter, die menschliche Arbeit und das menschliche Handeln in solcher Gegenständen und Ikonen offen zu Tage.

Die Zerstörung solcher Gegenstände, der ikonoklastische Akt, ist ebenfalls zwiespältig, denn er vollführt selbst eine bildliche Geste. Das zur Schau stellen, das Feiern der Zerstörung ist selbst ein Bild und reiht sich auf merkwürdige Weise selbst wieder in die Ikonenproduktion ein.

Diese Zwiespältigkeit, die dem Entlarven und Enthüllen von Täuschungen innewohnt, führt Latour zu einem programmatischen Statement: In Iconoclash stellt er der Einfachheit des (vermeintlichen) Entlarvens von Naivität einen komplexeren Anspruch an Kritik gegenüber. Kritik muss sich den Doppeldeutigkeiten des Lebens stellen; das Einfache Volk ist komplexer als von einer pseudointellektuellen Elite, die sich schick der Dekonstruktion und Desillusionierung verschrieben hat, immer wieder unterstellt wird. Das heisst nicht, dass Kritik falsch wäre. Nach Latour ist Kritik oft zu billig.

Wir wollen uns also anstrengen. Wir wollen die Mühen der Komplextität und der Doppeldeutigkeiten nicht scheuen und in den Alltag und seine vielfältigen Deutungsmuster einsteigen! Wir wollen die von uns dabei erzeugten Bilder mitreflektieren und unsere eigene Schuld eingestehen! (Zeit für ein paar Ausrufezeichen. hehe.)

Ein hübsches Zitat aus dem Text findet sich übrigens in den gestern neu eingerichteten citation cereals in der rechten Spalte dieses Blogs. Wer gerne mehr von Latour lesen möchte kann das umsonst und ganz legal machen, denn der Gute hat auf seiner Internetseite fast alle seine Bücher und Texte zur allgemeinen Verfügung gestellt.

Back from science + fiction and bustling Karlsruhe.

Monday, July 14th, 2003

The exhibition was good, we had a nice guide. You should probably check it out yourself. This is a link to the brain that they had on display. They also had some other interesting exhibitions and installations at the ZKM and they also had the obligatory nice museum book store. After being pointed to an interesting book by my co-Kollegiat Lars Meier (Urban Encounters by Helen Liggett) I spent some money for the mentioned book and for Iconoclash by Bruno Latour. Now I am feeling somewhat more like an intellectual again.
On Friday, we had the opportunity to see some Nanotechnology dinosaurs from the University of Karlsruhe. They were acting as one would expect: After some people were asking critical questions about nanotechnology in general one of the first questions they asked us (the members of the Graduiertenkolleg) was “Who of you studied physics? Chemistry? Mathematics?”. Well, looks like we’re not qualified… ;-) It was fun anyway especially since we were werved water and juice in measuring glasses that are usally used in labs.
Besides the work-related things that we saw, we also had some time to roam around the city. I must say that I am positively impressed. There was a lot of life on the street up until late in the night. Is this because of the proximity to France? Is it because of the climate? Whatever it’s causes, it was quite a striking difference to the Darmstadt experience. Although… yesterday, Sir Elton John gave a concert here in Darmstadt. See?