[NetBehaviour] Making Things Public. Atmospheres of Democracy...

marc marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Mon Jul 17 10:40:58 CEST 2006



Making Things Public.
Atmospheres of Democracy...

A show curated by Bruno Latour
& Peter Weibel

As soon as you enter the show,
you feel that something odd is
happening: lights, sound and
labels seem to react to your
presence as a visitor in some
invisible and yet palpable

You have just encountered the
atmospheric conditions of
democracy. Soon you will discover
that the whole space of the show
is embedded in the PHANTOM PUBLIC,
a work of art that aims to lend a
different, emotional colour to
political involvement and
political envelopment.

Without a doubt, this is an
unusual exhibition. Building on
the much acclaimed “Iconoclash”
by the same curators
(ZKM | Center for Art and Media,
2002), it aspires to nothing
less than to renew what
constitutes an art show as well
as ways of thinking about
politics and methods of
establishing new forms of
collaboration between artists
and academics.

The reason for such an
undertaking is that we live in
rather discouraging times as far
as political life is concerned.
Just the right moment, then, to
make a fresh start by bringing
together three modes of
representation that are usually
kept apart: How to represent
people? Politics. How to
represent objects? Science.
How to represent their
collective gathering? Art.

The main idea behind this show
is that politics is all about
things. It’s not a sphere, a
profession or a mere occupation;
it essentially involves a concern
for affairs that are brought to
the attention of a public. The
public is not cast in stone for
all time. We’re not talking here
about the people as represented
by their elected officials. The
public has to be created for each
new issue, for each new matter of
concern. So the question we wish
to raise is: ‘What would happen
if politics were made to revolve
around disputed states of

I went to this while in Karlsruhe
last week. I met Bruno latour and
gave him the opencongress address.
He suggested Lucy Kimbell among
others as a possible interested

More information about the NetBehaviour mailing list