Exhibition and third round of the research seminar with Bruno Latour
The research seminar of the French philosopher Bruno Latour has entered the third round. The highlight of the week was an exhibition in the atriums of the HfG Karlsruhe.
In the third part of the "Critical Zones" research seminar, Bruno Latour, together with participants from the HfG Karlsruhe and other universities, continued planning an exhibition to be held in the ZKM Karlsruhe in 2020. Due to the high demand, participation was regulated by a registration procedure.
The seminar and exhibition deal with the geophysical critical condition of the Earth, especially with the so-called "Critical Zone", its permeable, near-surface layer on which life originates. Latour takes this zone as the epitome of a critical, participatory relationship to our lifeworld that is threatened to a degree unprecedented in man-made geology. It also stands for a "New Climate Regime", which is not only limited to ecological crises, but also touches questions of politics and cultural history and epistemological perspective change brings.
The highlight of the week was an exhibition in the atriums of the HfG Karlsruhe, in which the preliminary results of the seminar members were presented. With posters, video installations, sculptural works and performances, it was tested how the "Critical Zone" could be developed and conveyed in an engaging and aesthetic way.
In addition to a public lecture at the seminar, the artist and art historian Nikola Bojiç was invited. In dialogue with the students, he presented the "Swamp Pavilion" as a project between bio art, immersion and participation, which was last seen at the Architecture Biennale 2018 in Venice. On the occasion of the third session, Yohji Suzuki (Japan) has published an interview with Bruno Latour on the topics and approaches of the seminar as well as the planned exhibition at the ZKM (in English on the website of the Tokyo University of the Arts at http://ga.geidai.ac.jp/en/indepth/bruno2018en/). In a section on the discursive significance of exhibitions, Bruno Latour sums up a key thrust of the Critical Zones project:
"Exhibitions can not do anything; they can not replace the reasoning power of books. But what they can do, and this is their great strength, is to offer a spatial form of understanding, which is very much in the context of the larger shifts of spatial consciousness [in our time]. An exhibition is physical but, if done well, can be thought-provoking. In this sense, I think that we were successful with the three exhibitions that we did here at the ZKM - by transforming the physical space into a thinking space, and the thinking space into a physical experience. This helps people to make sense of the complexity of the current historical situation. That is precisely what is lacking in the many discussions about the ecological crisis. if you continue talking about the dangers to nature, no one is interested in it. It's too abstract, too complicated. In that sense, I think that exhibitions have an important role to play. "
Bruno Latour's project professorship at the HfG Karlsruhe builds on his many years of cooperation with the ZKM, where he and Peter Weibel have developed several major spaces for action and thinking for the museum context since 2002: "Icono-Clash", "Things Going Public" and "Reset Modernity". "Critical Zone" will provide a quintessence of this collaboration.