Senior Loeb Scholar Lecture: Bruno Latour, “A Tale of Seven Planets – An Exercise in Gaiapolitics”


It’s really wonderful
to see so many of you here, especially after seeing
such a great group of people here for Sou Fujimoto–
very different, probably, audience, very
different presentation. But to see so many wonderful
people here for Bruno, it’s really great. As you know, Bruno
Latour is here as our Senior Loeb Scholar. Every year, we invite a
Senior Loeb Scholar who spends about a week with us. And this is organized
through the Loeb’s office with John Peterson. Sally, the whole team
do a wonderful job, and they meet and spend
time with the Loeb’s. And in fact, this
week Bruno is also spending time with the MDes
program, with John May, and some of the students
with Anita Berrizbeitia. So the idea is that the
Senior Loebs are basically engaged with the
life of the school, and they don’t just
do one lecture, but we really benefit from
their ideas and their interests in different kinds of contexts. This program has been going
on for a number of years. And some of the
other Loeb Scholars that include Ulrich Beck, Arjun
Appadurai, Katherine Boo, David Harvey, and others. Before I introduce
Bruno, I also want to take a minute to let you
know that this Thursday, October 18, the
curator Jose Esparza will speak in
Stubbins at lunchtime. He is the newly minted Executive
Director and Chief Curator at Storefront for Architecture. And he will start on November 1. Landscape Architect and Option
Studio Faculty Member Marty Poirier will give a lecture
on Monday, October 22. And on Tuesday, October 23,
our next Rouse Visiting Artist Lecture of the semester features
curator Julieta Gonzalez, and visual artist Fritz
Haeg, and Nils Norman. They will be in
conversation about Haeg and Norman’s recent
public art commission to design a plaza at the
Museo Jumex in Mexico City, and the event will
take place at 6:30 PM here in Piper Auditorium. In light of last week’s
dire climate report issued by IPCC, the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change, it feels really apt and timely
to have Bruno here tonight to lecture on Gaia politics
and the conceptual idea of the seven planets. Bruno is no stranger to the
GSD, and indeed, to Harvard. He’s been working here,
collaborating with colleagues like Peter Galison in
the History of Science for many years here at the GSD. He’s been involved on
a number of occasions. We had a wonderful event here
with him and Peter Sloterdijk some years ago. And then we also collaborated
on the beginnings of what is now our Master
in Design Studies in Art Design and Public Domain. Because Bruno at that time,
he was at Sciences Po. And he was also very
interested in the relationship between what he called the
political arts in France, and really having people
with the background in the social sciences,
or maybe design, coming in to Sciences Po to
study for a Masters that really prepared them, in
a different way, to address the question
of the political arts in the context of Sciences Po. I think one of the key
reasons why many of us are very keen on having Bruno
here is because he’s really a sort of worldly public
intellectual, who thinks about philosophy, anthropology,
and other disciplines, but with a very
worldly perspective. And more and more,
a lot of his ideas have had connections to the
way in which he’s already thinking about the planet,
what’s happening to the planet, and our actions, our
responsibilities, and what kind of
things can we do. It doesn’t always directly
translate to design, but I think it has many
consequences for us in the context of
a design school, where we’re really thinking
about these broader issues, where his work is very much
about the interrelationship of things, and the impact that
things have on each other, including humans and non-humans. One of his– well,
he has also published so many amazing books. And I think we want to hear
from Bruno very quickly. But one of his probably
better-known books– most of them are very well
known– is the book called “We Have Never Been Modern,”
which was really an earlier book. But I think it’s good
if I read you maybe even the first paragraph from
the back of the book, to just give you a
sense of how some of his thinking in relation
to science is formed. He says, the book says,
“With the rise of science, we moderns believe the
world changed irrevocably, separating us forever from
our primitive, pre-modern ancestors. But if we were to let go
of this fond conviction,” Bruno Latour asks, “what
would the world look like?” His book, An
Anthropology of Science shows us how much of modernity
is actually a matter of faith. And I think there is a
very beautiful description, in the sense that for Bruno,
it seems words and themes like alchemy,
astrology, phrenology– they are also part of
the very conceptions of the pre-modern, which
maybe we should not let go of so quickly. And therefore, I think
it’s really interesting when you think about the idea of
us being able to sort of think through issues or design in
a way that doesn’t bracket us in a very precise
way, and excludes other notions, other
possibilities, and so on. As I said, Bruno
spent a lot of time at the School of MINES in
Paris, and then subsequently at Sciences Po, where he was
responsible for research, and set up the program, the
Media Lab and the program in the political arts. We’re really, really delighted
that he’s here with us. There’s a lot more to be said,
but would you please join me in welcoming Bruno Latour. [applause] That deafening silence
coming from the White House after the new report
from the IPCC– as Mohsen just
mentioned– two weeks ago, urging the United
Nations to try, no matter how hard
it appears to be, to keep the global temperature
below the Paris Agreement target of 1.5 degrees can be
interpreted as another proof of anti-science attitude. But for the last
three years, I’ve been more and more convinced
that the continuous, coherent and deeply entrenched climate
skepticism of the Republican Party should be seen as
a mark of a great design in geopolitics, namely
to redesign the United States as situated
outside of Earth, and moving toward another
attractor altogether. What used to be a lame joke– “But my poor fellow, you seem
to live on another planet,” has become the strange goal
of a new form of geopolitics. Yes, indeed, we do intend
to live on another planet. Cultural historians would
say that the US has always been somewhere else than
the rest of the world, and certainly away
from the Old World and meshed into it’s
old, outdated attachment, and that it was constructed to
be a land of nowhere welcoming anybody– I mean, once the
earlier inhabitants had been dispossessed, that is. But this out-thereness, or
aloofness, or special destiny was figurative only. It remains symbolic, as
in the myth of a city on the hill, another
such pretension. Today, it has become literal. Everything in
politics happens as if a large chunk of the planet
was moving somewhere else than the rest of
the world, hoping to benefit from another
climate, and not to be submitted to the same
forces of Nature as, let’s say, China or Indonesia. Prior to recent US
proclamation, when historians talk
about geopolitics, they meant different nations
with opposite interests waging wars on the same
material and geographical stage. But today, geopolitics
is also concerned with wars about the very
definition of a stage itself. A conflict will be called,
from now on, I propose, “a planetary relevance,”
not because it has a planet for the stage, but
because it’s about which planet you are claiming to
inhabit and to defend. And to register this
shift in meaning, I use the word
Gaiapolitics, since I’ve been trying over the years to
resurrect the Lovelock-Margulis discovery of Gaia, a discovery
gains great importance today, in my eyes, at least. I’m starting from a premise
shared with Dipesh Chakrabarti and a few others. But what I’ve called the
“new climatic regime” organized the whole of
political affiliation. Tell me what you expect
from the climate, and I will tell you where you
stand on all other issues, including the social one. In Climate Leviathan,
a political theory of our planetary future, two
Marxist social scientists, Mann and Wainwright, started
from the same premises as I, ending with four
geopolitical scenarios, very much like my planets. They have one vivid illustration
of planetary conflict, with this image showing
New York City in 2012 without electricity,
in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy. I understand you have
a much better one here, but I didn’t know that. We are just Marxist
scholars after all. We don’t know anything. With only the Goldman
Sachs tower brightly lit thanks to its
own generators, the same geographical space
that is a cartographic grid of Manhattan is occupied by
two different climatic regimes, one submitted to Hurricane
Sandy, the other indifferent to it. Banks remain fully operational
when everything else is coping with a Hurricane. Like a rocket, it looks– it’s
very funny– at Cape Kennedy. Goldman Sachs is apparently
ready for liftoff. The lesson is that on the
same cartographic space, people belong to
different soils or are grounded in a different land. This is typical, I
argue, of a Gaiapolitics. The question of which
people belong to which land is foregrounded again. As I argued at length
in Facing Gaia, just as at the beginning of
modern political philosophy at the time of Hobbes, we are
no longer dealing with humans in Nature, but with divided
people engaged in civil wars, having to reinvent
social order altogether. Climate mutation means
that the question of the land on which we
stand is back into focus. Everything happens as
if Games of Thrones has become a general
model for considering of the politics,
except, of course that the threat is Armageddon,
and not winter, is coming. In a long investigative
essay in The New York Times that confirmed part of
a chronology I proposed in Down to Earth, Nathaniel Rich
adds a third detailed analysis of such a bifurcation. Just when proof of a
change in climate condition were accumulating as
early as during the Reagan administration, Rich
shows how efficient has been the enterprise to
deny the coming Armageddon. Where certainty about
the threat, as well as the denial of the
threat have grown together, some people have seen that the
planet will never be the same, if scientists were right. And they decided– arguably
decided somewhat consciously– that it was time to move
to another one, where all the dramatic changes
anticipated by scientists would not happen, or at
least, would not be visible, or would not modify
the social order. Strangely enough,
actually, Nathaniel Rich missed this point entirely
in his own interpretation of a document he
beautifully shows. This is why I think we
have to link together three 40-year-long episodes– deregulation, explosion of
inequalities, and expansion of climate denial,
which is the subject of this just-published
Down to Earth. Whatever you might think
of my interpretation, the crucial point is that
the climate question is not one aspect of
politics among others, but what defines political
order from beginning to end, forcing all of us to
redefine the older question of subsistence and
attachment to places, as well as social justice. In recent years, if you want
to summarize the argument, we have shifted from
questions of ecology, which is about Nature
outside of social order, to questions of existential
subsistence on threatened territories. Nature is no longer
outside, but under our feet. And it shakes the ground. Hence, the general
political disorientation, especially for the
left, who did not expect to have to talk
again of people and soil, a question mostly
abandoned to the Right. I’m sure you will agree that
taking kids to a planetarium is a compulsory moment
of any education– to give them some sense of where
they reside in the universe, to introduce them to planets,
stars, Milky Way, galaxy, black holes, and other
such esoteric entities. Well, I wish tonight to take you
for a guided tour in my wholly fictional– sorry,
wholly, not holy– wholly fictional– English is
complicated for a Frenchman– wholly fictional planetarium. It’s a fiction, yes. Although one thing is sure– whereas all planetary
influences on our horoscopes have been thrown into doubt
for quite some time, there’s no question that the
gravitational pull of another seven planets– in my reckoning,
we are seven only– have an immense influence
on the way you feel, behave, and especially on the way
you may predict your destiny. So let’s take the tour
as a fictional astrology, verging on serious geopolitics. And as Mohsen very
kindly said, there is no direct correlation
between architecture and design in my talk. You would have to
do the job yourself of seeing the connection,
but maybe there is one. The principle that would
lead me in such a reckoning is the link between
the territory necessary for subsistence, and
the territory that we recognize legally, effectively
as our own, and what has the source of our
freedom and autonomy. Territory here, not only in its
geographic or administrative depiction, but also in what I
call Gaiagraphic definition– that is, all of the other
agents, no matter how remote, that allow a good agent– human or non-human– to subsist. These are what its
territory consists of. So it’s a reverse, not the
territory administrative, but give me the
subsistence, and I will know what the territory is. And subsistence has been
taken in a very large sense. I would start from
the assumption that the present
disorientation is due to a fabulous increase
in the usual lack of fit between the two
sets of constraints. We inhabit as citizen
a land that is not the one we could subsist on. Hence, the increasing feeling
of homelessness, a feeling that is transforming the
former ecological question into a new set of more urgent
and more tragic political struggles. People everywhere are again
looking for land, a situation that I’ve called for this reason
“the new wicked universality.” The first planet I
will show shining in my little
fictional planetarium is what could be
called The Global– that is, the sphere
imagined by the attempts at modernizing the Earth. If I call it an
imaginary sphere, it’s for the reason
so forcefully advanced by Peter Sloterdijk. Although that property is
drawn from cartography, geology and some geography,
it’s a sphere of ideas, since it implies that
everyone on Earth could develop according
to the American way of life, and forever, and
in the absence of any limit. It’s the globalization as a
positive Utopian or dystopian ideal, which has been
pursued, and still has some attraction, until
the end of the 20th century. And of course, there’s
another side of the story of this Global planet, and
that it’s entirely colonized, in the sense that none of
the nations composing its map occupies the official
space inside its borders and frontier. China, Europe, the United
States all occupy territories– sorry, all occupy the
official space in– sorry, all occupy other
territory in many ways, either forcibly or
through the partially hidden means of phantom acreage,
to use Kenneth Pomeranz’ powerful expression. And you know many of his
images on types of maps. This is what Pierre
Charbonnet called “the ubiquity of a
modem,” to underline that there is no
correspondence at all to expect between the shape of a
nation-state in a legal sense and the wealth its
citizens benefit from. Belonging to a territory
on such a Global Planet is a sure way of
being misled and lost. Your health or your
misery come from places that are invisible on
the administrative map of your own land. And in addition to this
imbalance in space, there is, as Timothy
Mitchell has argued, an imbalance in time, since
the future in the Global is entirely colonized
in advance, so to speak, by
decisions made earlier to develop infrastructure
but putting you forever in dept. The dispute on
what to do about getting rid of our carbon economy
is a good case in point, since most investment decisions,
as it has been showed recently, have already been made. So paradoxically, no matter
if they are rich or poor, inhabitants of this
Global have no way to influence their own future. TINA, There Is No
Alternative, is a practical result,
which is paradoxical, of centuries of obsession with
the question of emancipation and freedom. So the Global is
simultaneously that toward which the whole world
was supposed to progress, and a totally Utopian
skewed domain, where time and space
have been colonized to the point of
rendering it inhabitable, and of paralyzing any reaction
to the threat everyone clearly sees coming. This is nicely emphasized
in the well-known argument, as you know, I’m sure,
about the five planets necessary to develop further
in a non-American fashion, or in moving the
data of a calendar earlier and earlier every year
to celebrate Earth Overshoot Day. France, by the way,
overshoot in May 5. And you would not
be surprised to know that you do that in March 15. So France has still a little– a month– less responsibility. It is very small. I’ve often noted
this contradiction. Even though the
moderns are supposed to be hard-nosed realists,
and to possess a fully materialistic
outlook, their vision of where they were
supposed to be inhabitants remain entirely ideal all along. In this imaginary
global sphere, there were no specified climate
conditions, no earthly limits, no idea of the complexity and
heterogeneity of the soil, no feel for what allows
any lifeforms to live. And I’m sure architects
feel the pull of that planetary attraction. The paradox is such
that this global– that is, the horizon for
everything universal, they say– is also a cramped space, with
no people able to really say in it, “This is where I belong. And it is from here that
I draw my subsistence, and where I find the
sources of my liberties.” You expect to meet free people,
and they sit on their butt– Paradise– unable to react to
a small question of a climate transformation. For the last 40 years, this
planet has felt the increasing gravitational pull, so
to speak, of another one, which has been named– and
I think it’s a good word, by Chakrabarty– “The Planetary.” It’s different from
the Global, precisely because it began
to re-materialize all the elements that been left
aside a bit too fast by those who had embarked on the
great progressive movement toward the Global. All that was externalized
in one planet is internalized in this one. The Planetary is the Global,
but where the Earth is reacting to human enterprise– no longer a frame, a
stage, but a powerful actor with its own agency and its
own temp, and also at a scale– and that’s where the
surprise is coming from– at a scale that is
comparable in size and weight to that of the
human technosphere. And its presence
is now captured– this is very well-known
expressions– Earth system, or Lovelock
Gaia, or Anthropocene, or great acceleration,
tipping point, Earth boundary. There are many of them. The whole vocabulary
that has transformed what was to have been
theater stage that could be changed
by human ingenuity into a player intervening
as a third party in every human activity. The key point is that
it’s not Nature as such whose immensity,
indifference, aloofness, importance, and other
compassing weight had always been celebrated,
but an agent with its own force and power that requests to
be integrated in some ways into the political domain. Facing Gaia is altogether
different than facing Nature. How to define the Planetary,
if I use my little reckoning principle, detect the overlap
of territory and subsistence? On the face of it, it
should be a great solution to the radical homelessness
suffered on the Planet Global. The human, now as
big as the Earth, is easily superimposed
to a planetary system of comparable size in such a way
that all question of freedom, and governance, and
representation are also a question of subsistence. You depend on the whole
planet, while the whole planet is reacting to your action. And yet, there is
no such overlap, for reasons that
Chakrabarty has tried to disentangle since his first
famous paper On Four Theses. A good locus from
which to see this is to consider the
great Anthropocene cry. As soon as the
term “Anthropocene” was used in geology,
climatology, biochemistry, and stratigraphy by
natural scientists, it was immediately criticized
by social scientists for its complete insensitivity
to the complex history of human society. There was, indeed,
a re-materialization of condition of
self-subsistence, and a welcome one, at that. But everyone agreed that the
Anthropos of the Anthropocene was too much of an abstraction
to provide a real superposition of the legal and social
questions of freedom and autonomy upon the earthly
condition of subsistence, although it was better to
live in the Anthropocene than suspended in
mid-air, as in the Global, with an Earth Overshoot Day
somewhere in March or May. The point was about that
geologists and biochemists were not offering
any view of an Earth that citizens and activists
could recognize as their home. Although the principles of
homelessness were tackled– there was now a material earth
under the feet of people– those people had
no abode where they could express their conditions
in terms compatible with role of social justice. Humans were mainly plugged in
as a box in the model developed by earth system science in the
Potsdam Institute or the IBGP or IPCC, a box just like the one
for soil, vegetation, or ocean currents. So in spite of Gaia’s
pull, Planetary Planet– my Planetary– could be
felt as another attempt at naturalizing social life,
but for social scientists, at the end of the human world. And that Planetary
was seen as really the end of a human
domination can be shown by looking at two
other, darker bodies, which are coming frighteningly
close to the planetary. Planets, the gravitational
fields of which could engulf all the others, as
in a replay of Lars Von Trier’s “Melancholia.” “Melancholia,” as you
know, finished badly, if you have not seen the film. If you have not seen the
film, I’m sorry to spoil it. The first of two dark
planets to consider is the one I call “Escape.” Considering that it becomes
barely thinkable to imagine any harmony between
the resources necessary for subsistence
and the exercise of freedom, some have concluded that the two
main assumptions of modernism should be abandoned altogether. Freedom is for the
few, not for the many. Breaking from the
limits of Nature is essential destiny
of those few only. Hence, the name “Escape.” Let’s forget about
the universality of a modern dream,
still entertained by people on Planet Global. And let’s accelerate the break
away from early conditions. If we wanted a simile of
such a liftoff in addition to the picture of New
York’s Goldman Sachs tower I showed earlier, I think
Elon Musk’s red Telsa car sent in space would
be a good signpost. Although it superficially
resembles the modernist ideal of expanding in
science ad infinitum, it’s much more sinister. As Musk himself recognized
when he said of his enterprise, “It is silly, but it’s fun.” To my ears, with what was
supposed to be a joke, he broke any continuity with
the former ideals of progress for all. This is, indeed, another planet. On Planet Escape, the
plan is that it will soon be possible to download our
mortal bodies into mixtures of robot DNA, clouds, AI– lots of AI– situated
as far as possible from the humble
and limited Earth. Technology, after all,
it is transcendence. It needs no Earth, except
as a provisional platform before new adventures begin. On to Mars! In case those accelerations
evaporate as so much hype– if, for instance,
terraforming of Mars takes more time
than anticipated– it might be wise to buy a gated
community or underground bunker somewhere, preferably, as this
article shows, in New Zealand– a real material,
well-protected terroir down on an old, already
there former Earth. Wherever the gated
community ends up being situated the great
difference between the Global and Planet Escape is
that there is no longer any project for the billions of
humans who are explicitly now– explicitly now– left
behind, or to use this cruel but frank adjective,
who have become supernumerary. It’s an extraordinary
word, “supernumerary.” Civilization, in the sense of
a project invented by liberals at the time of the
English Revolution, is now abandoned for good. The simple question
remains, where, will all those
supernumerary masses go, all those left behind? There is no difficulty in
finding where they are heading. It’s in the news every morning,
especially after Election Day. When it’s not in
Brazil, it’s in Hungary. When it’s not in Hungary,
it’s in Germany, or England, or France, or Italy,
or Bavaria last Sunday. You name it. And of course, it
happens even here, in this benighted
country of yours, that is made
simultaneously great again, and if I’m allowed
to say, much smaller. Here, there is another planet. Let’s call it “Identity.” That is, actually,
the biggest planet of all, the one that
over-shadows, it seems, all the others. Where do the millions
of people go? In one direction and
one only– wherever they would like, so long as
they remain behind walls. So they can retain at least one
element of a former civilizing project– protection and identity. Although troubling for the
inhabitants of the other world, the migration is
perfectly reasonable. If prosperity and freedom are
gone, and if it’s impossible, as scientists insist, to connect
prosperity and Earth condition together, then let’s at
least have an identity, a sense of belonging. It doesn’t solve a
question of a superposition between subsistence,
territory, and freedom. Maybe not. But the promises of the global
have been left aside anyway. Modernization is stuck. Inequalities are
growing every day. And to top it all,
we have been betrayed by those, the
inhabitants of escape, who are flying toward
Mars without us– Mars or New Zealand, that is. They don’t even pretend
to work for our benefit. Noah’s Ark is for
them, not for us. They abandoned us. We abandon them. The avant-garde has been
left to hang out by itself. No one follows them anymore. And you might feel this
anti-gravitational pull here in Cambridge. The leaders don’t lead any more. We have all been
replaced by others. planet Identity’s attraction
seems to be overwhelming. Everybody dreams of being
inside a new national or new local bounded space,
even though it might mean abandoning
any pretense at maintaining the civilizing
project of the recent past. On Planet Global,
there was, remember, a fundamental disconnect
between the legal border and the real territory. We had to come in,
in order to subsist. But the horizon remained
global, and the ideal was still that of coordination
and shared sovereignty. They were in an
awkward position, to be sure, but
sort of cantilevered on top of an abyss. But we had, at least, the
project of coping with it. And of course, the best
example of such intervention is the hapless, but still
admirably fought of the Climate Conferences, the famous COP,
culminating in the Paris Agreement in December 2015. But on Planet Identity, as
well as on Planet Escape, there is no need
for such a horizon, as we know from the decision
of the present administration to withdraw from
the Paris Agreement. Climate deniers consubstantive
to this project. Those who criticize
modernity are going to regret it
when considering the ravages committed
by that long withdrawal inside the walls of identity. While on Escape,
it’s technology that is supposed to be the
saving hand of God. On Identity, there is
not even that hope. Actually, hope is no
longer a possibility. You cannot even say there,
“It’s silly, but it’s fun.” Above all other attitudes,
it’s rage and despair that I value most,
which makes sense, since homelessness is pushed
to its most extreme expression. The desperate effort
to possess an identity, but without any
realist material ground to settle on and
provide with soil. Populists are people,
yes, but without land. If I leave off here
the guided tour for my fictional
planetarium, chances that you are going to
witness to the same roaring scene as in
“Melancholia–” planets crashing into one another. But fortunately–
don’t despair– there are three other planets,
the complex interferences of which are making themselves
felt in addition to before. Of course, just like good
planets do in our Solar System, they all act on one another. So every one of
our issues today, no matter if we wish
to build something, or design an institution,
or make any plan, settle any controversy,
it’s pushed and pulled, divided and influenced by the
overlapping, contradictory, and still-unsettled fields
of attraction of those seven bodies– four that I’ve described. There’s three that
I’d like to turn to. Right now, the
probability they will coalesce to make one
common world is nil– and I would say fortunately,
because the largest of all, Identity, is probably the
darkest and least promising one to unify the
political situation. So what are the others? Planet World is
still influential. By this label, I
mean what has been the project of valued
civilization, mainly Europe, but toward China, India, to
project their own boundaries on to those of the others. The result of those
many and contradictory globalizations deserve the name
“world–” not terribly good– because they are all meant
to add to their own borders those of their legal expression
of freedom and autonomy, a vastly greater expanse
of people, lands, mores, resources, and good, which is
simultaneously integrated– of course, scientific
knowledge is a good example– and maintain outside
as foreign an exterior. For Europeans, at
least, it could be called the Planet
Galileo or Descartes to mark more clearly a change
in the very composition of the material with which the
body of a planet is being made, and the new position
in relation to the Sun. A type of worldling that
was not so detectable before, what is
called, in quotation marks, the Age of Discovery or
with even more scare quotes, the Scientific Revolution– a fabulous expansion
of the world, but without any
similar expansion of the feeling of
identity, hence the strange creation
or otherness which has been
always co-evolving with the sentiment of modernity. The predicament of those
who have never been modern, this has transformed
the others into others. You could object that this is,
then, exactly the same planet as the Global, with
its growing cantilever or disconnect between the
legal and belief territory. But this would be to
confuse the Earth before and after the main
event, that is, the introduction of carbon– coals and colonies, to use
Pomeranz’ expression again. What is becoming clear and
clear to the historian, viewed from a Planetary’s
point of view, is that there’s not much
continuity between the first and the second
modernizing project, let’s say between the 6th,
7th, 6, 18, and then 19 and 20, with coal and oil. The asymmetries in power between
discovering and discovered people were important
before, but surmountable compared to those of
a second period where any encounter ran the
risk of annihilation for the discovered. Inhabitants of a planet world
were pilfering other society, yes. But you could not portray
them in the new one, as agent of a six extension. To use Timothy
Mitchell’s expression, they could not render the
link to the Earth invisible. On the contrary, they
entrench more and more the notion of development
and civilization within a newly material
and complex world they’re delighted in figuring out. Economics were
still not of dealing with prudence and limits, not
yet what could render invisible the condition of subsistence
and infinite profit, which is Mitchell’s argument, as
you know, in Carbon Democracy. It’s carbon that
has transformed what was a strike of chance,
a lucky mood, basically, into a destiny. Without carbon,
Europe’s expansion was an intrusion,
yes, complicating the ways of life of all
sorts of other empires, as post-colonial studies
have so elegantly shown. But with carbon, it became,
to use [inaudible] term, an apocalypse of civilization. Although world seems a
slightly weakened, outdated, backward version of a
Global and of a Planetary, the same cannot be said about
what I’ve called in Down to Earth “the Terrestrial.” The Terrestrial is at
once that toward which it seems that all progressive
political movements are heading. And yet– this is funny– what is terribly
difficult to define. Mann and Wainwright, the guys I
mentioned earlier, call it “X.” Lantern and I, in a
recent paper in “Science”, called it Gaia 2.0. Anna Tsing called it “living
in ruins of capitalism.” And Chakrabarty,
after all these years, is still struggling
to give it a name. Paradoxically,
the main attractor does not seem to
be so attractive. And yet, using the same grid
as for the other planets, it seems to offer,
finally, some sort of a solution to
the homelessness detected as the source of
a general disorientation. It overlays the strange shape
of territory– and remember, territory is whatever life form,
the source for any lifeform whatever, as far as
we know it, as it is, that allows it to subsist. Atop a territory, understood
as what free agent can decide on their own. If Anna Tsing’s book takes
on more and more importance, it’s because it’s probably
the first to show, in enough detail, how such
superposition is possible, even though “mushrooms
at the end of a world” fits none of the earlier
categories of nation-state, sovereignty, capitalism,
class struggle, but renew all of those terms. Why would it be different,
then, from the Planetary whose presence and influence has
been growing since the 1960s? Precisely because it
might offer a solution to the great Anthropocene
cry I mentioned earlier. You cannot insert into politics
any sort of natural entity without transforming the
search for freedom and autonomy into the simple domination
of necessity and heteronomy. I know. I’ve tried everything
for 40 years. It never works, believe me. So to tell humans
that they behave just like a geological force, as the
Committee for the Anthropocene does so regularly
and beautifully– and even though it’s
technically true– the scales are
correct, the influence is indisputable, the
effect devastating– it’s not something that
any political agent can hear, without ceasing to
be a human political agent. In becoming geology,
it’s impossible. Anthropocenic– can we say
that, Anthropocenic human– have become as immobile
and as paralysed eyes as statues of salt. But where did we
learn that freedom was reserved to human lifeforms? Where did we learn
that freedom was reserved to human lifeforms. This is where the discovery
of Lovelock and Margulis’ Gaia comes in. And we wrote a series
of papers with Linton. I don’t have time
to get into it. Gaia is not of system science. It’s a much more interesting
and astute sort of being. I’ve no room to develop,
unfortunately, the idea fully, but the key element we
need here is the knowledge that all lifeforms
have in common that they make up
their own laws. They make up their own laws. They don’t obey rules
made as [inaudible].. The key discovery of
Lovelock and Margulis is that lifeforms don’t
reside in space and time, but that time and
space is the result of their own entanglement. So although reconciling
the realm of necessity and that of freedom
is a waste of time, connecting free
agent with free agent opens up completely different
styles of association, and allows the building
of different societies. Basically, the terrestrial is
the same body as the Planetary, but wherever politicization of
Nature has finally taken over. So it’s a very important shift. If I’m slightly confident
in the gravitational pull of the sixth planet– slightly, very slightly–
it’s for a reason that is not visible until you bring all of
them together in a spatial– spatial is a word impossible to
say for a Frenchman– spatial like space, spatial
consideration, just as fictional as
the rest, of course. But after all, it
does not function what is needed at this moment
to focus our attention. It’s a nice diagram, isn’t it? In this diagram, done by
Alexandra [inaudible],, you will notice
that the Terrestrial is pulled toward the
gravitational field of a seventh planet
I’ve not mentioned yet, and that I’m strongly tempted
to call “Contemporary.” Why do I name it that way? Why do I end up with it,
although it’s also clear that it should have been
the first to consider? Precisely because
it has never been allowed to be freed from
the retrospective judgment of the five other planets. Whenever it’s treated
first, it becomes primitive. Wherever people talk
about modernity, they immediately
equate, by contrast, a primeval site, that of
archaic attachment to the soil, to the ground, which
is either ridiculed as that out of which the
whole civilizing trajectory as been extricating
itself, so to speak, or, what is even worse,
it’s celebrated as being a mythical archaic
primordial autochthonous Ur-Earth, freed from
all the tragic sins of civilized humans. Remember Husserl with the
Earth that doesn’t move, Heidegger with the lived Earth? If there’s one lesson to draw
from the extraordinary rebirth of anthropology in
recent times, it’s that, for probably the
first time in anthropology for 200 years– probably because of
the symmetric pull of the Terrestrial, actually– the many societies of human
and non-human that are active on the Earth are allowed to
stop having to define themselves by comparison with modernity, or
to be taken only as having rich symbolic views of Nature,
which what has been called, probably misleadingly,
the “ontological turn,” they are free at last to
be our contemporaries– difficult to pronounce. Maybe I should find
another name for it. Contemporaries–
“modern” looks better, but contemporaries is better– and maybe also to extend
some of the recipes we might have for composing
societies made of free agents. As Viveiros de Castro is
fond of saying, what is sure is that both societies
of human and non-human are expert at survival. And now, they are
their own planet. And they can fight back. It’s about time we move from
modernity to contemporaneity– that is, to the present. Let me now conclude
the tour guide on my fictional planetarium
with three very short remarks. The first is that
there is not, as you see here, one, but three or
four different arcs of history. And modernity,
modernity is really very small, probably something–
see, it’s a very short movement. Already here, it becomes– begins to turn. And then “chook,”
and then “chook.” And then here, the attraction
pull, and then here. So there are many
different arcs. So we are getting weight
of modernity, which is– I mean, for architect
as well for philosopher, it would be so good. Modernism appears now as
a small parenthesis that went from world to global,
and which is now torn apart by two radically different
gravitational pulls, one by what I’ve called the Dark
Planets, Escape and Identity– even though they have
the majority, of course– and the other by those
who are rematerializing the Earth in different but
complimentary fashion, namely Planetary and Terrestrial. Architects and
designers, I’m sure, may now understand
that to having a project of designing
for the planet should be added some qualification– yes, but for which planet? The second remark is that
it’s no wonder that we feel politically disoriented. Those seven planets make their
influence felt at the same time over every one of us, and modify
the path of our enterprise minute by minute. We are not divided in two– forward or backward–
but at least in seven. Every time we choose a course
of action, utter an opinion, we feel engaged or repulsed
by the weight of those bodies. Every act, no matter how
simple, has become contentious. The third and final remark is
that if my geopolitics map is even vaguely coherent,
it should be clear that there is a general movement
not to go back to the past. Moving forward or backward was
a typically modernist conceit during this short
moment here, segment. But we move, I think– I don’t know how you
architects, you’re always very good at capturing
this sort of mood or style– we move from more
outside or more inside. There is a sort of insiderness
that is making itself felt. And that is visible in
science as well, I think, as in the art, and what I
pursue in serving my project. And this is a bit of
publicity for what I’m doing next week in New York. Well that’s the end. Thank you much. [applause] So hopefully, we can
have some questions. One thing, I think
there are some mics, so maybe people can raise
their hands, and we can– one thing, Bruno, is
that in architecture and in design schools, the word
“contemporary” is very common. And “contemporaneity”
is very common. OK, my fault. Which is very
interesting, no, because I think that their struggle is
not the struggle of overcoming modernity, but it’s
really the struggle of addressing the questions
of the contemporary or the questions
of contemporaneity in a way that addresses
the question of spatial. But the spatial in a way that is
not just about space, but it’s about the relationality
of spatial in a way that entangles
those who are also engaged in it, so the user or
the participant or something like this. So that question
of contemporaneity with the spatial also
exists at multiple scales, because we are designing,
let’s say a room or a house. And we have to think
about the specificity of that particular moment. But we are also thinking
about the scalar condition of the spatial, where the thing
that we’re working on– whether it’s a house, or a landscape,
or a part of a city– also exists as an exemplar
of a bigger project. Therefore, the thing is also
indicative of a bigger project of a responsibility, which is
larger than the specific thing that we are working on. So I think that question
of the sort of the scalar is also something interesting. And one thing that I didn’t say
is that you, as is evident– it’s a pity that the
diagram has disappeared– but you constantly work
with visual material. You work with exhibitions. And you’ve been
using exhibitions in a way to also promote the
kind of ideas that you have. So one thing that
would be interesting is really for us to
also now try to get to– which is wonderful. I mean, it was really great to
hear this kind of description of conditions, to
the moment when one can also construct a certain
set of conditions in response. So that we are not escaping. We are not moderns. And therefore, somewhere
around this space of the Terrestrial
to the Contemporary, there is also a project. There is something,
presumably, that is made. Right? [laughs] And how is that? For us, it’s not so funny. We have to do this constantly. So– I guess your life
is complicated, because if you have
a project here, it’s pulled and pushed by all
of these things in between. Exactly. But this is also part of
the project of design. So design has to
negotiate with this. So there was some relation
with what I said– So I’m trying to. Yeah, there is some
relation to design. But I want to ask you about
the word “melancholy,” because in the way that
you refer to the movie, the word “melancholy” is a
condition of sadness purely. And it’s the bad end. But also, melancholia
has been used as a specially induced condition
which can be very productive– melancholia as a
mode of reflection, as a way of producing
a kind of project. Do you feel that there is a
possibility for melancholia to also provide some kind
of a space of projection, or a space of sort
of thinking, that provides at least temporal– not solution, but
temporal suggestions, recommendations for
the Contemporary to exist in different ways? Or how would you– how would you construct
the sort of project beyond the Contemporary? How to construct a
project, I don’t know. But there is this word by a
psychiatrist from Australia called solastalgia,
which is close to– but it’s a specific condition
that this guy in Australia found. And Australia, as you
know, is destroyed by ecological transformation,
and doesn’t pay any attention to it, which is precisely
the feeling of hopelessness at home, the feeling that
the Earth is actually disappearing under your feet,
and that you are paralyzed. So just my very simple scheme– I mean, homelessness is a
very old and very traditional question of cultural ideas,
just like melancholia. But there’s something
specific if my argument that all politics is
linked to this question of a new climatic
regime is visible. So that’s what I say. So all of this
question about project, about multiplicity of positions
to take simultaneously into account– this is as old
as building anything. But what is new
is this situation that we now disagree,
even on the common world in which all of these
projects are taking place. We disagree– we don’t
disagree inside space and time. We disagree about
space and time. And it’s different
if a Planetary, which is all the sort of big ESS
science of system science is also different
from the terrestrial. It’s also different from that. This is just a dispute
which is simultaneously inside the science, inside
our own psychological makeup. And that’s where the
solastalgia can get in, and which produces what I call
wicked universality, which is basically, we talk
now to people who have lost their land in a way– those that are losing the
land and move, and those that come inside. This is very important for
Europeans, as you know, because of the migration crisis. And they talk to people inside
France, Germany, Bavaria, et cetera, who feel also that
the Earth is also moving. And that’s a new situation
which is much more tense because of a Planet Identity, which is
a general movement everywhere simultaneously in the world,
from Indonesia to Brazil, which– I mean, there’s a
massive phenomenon here, which is so important
for geopolitics and political
science, which is all of the leaders in all
of these nation-states have been eliminated. Why? I mean, what’s happening? I mean, the drag before– no, the pull, the push or
pull, the drag, the pull, the pull of a global horizon
had hidden all of this division. But now that the pull
is no longer there, then no one leads anymore. So I’m trying just
to make sense of what does the new climatic regime
do to sort of old questions, basically, so
including, of course, melancholia and all of these
traditional questions of design probably are influenced by it. I mean, it’s a very
simple argument. It’s not that simple. Even if it looks a bit strange,
it is a simple argument. Don’t you feel
this homelessness? Of course, this homelessness
is very general, but a specific type
of homelessness. If you read, last
week, IPCC Report– do something, 1.5 degree. Two weeks before, it
was 15,000 scientists saying it’s soon too late. One month before, it was 30%
of the species are going– of the insect species, have
disappeared, of birds, sorry, and so on, and so forth. What does all of this news do
to the psychological makeup of people? This is what this
diagram is about. My argument is that even if you
are a denier or indifferent, it eats your brain
and your heart. And it does something
which explains, for me, a brutalization of politics,
because you cannot possibly understand how you
can do anything, nor can you relate to this
news, which non-philosopher scientists are producing. Denial and skepticism is
just one version of it. I mean, it’s a simple
version, which is, in a way, very understandable. But it has something
more psychosocial in it. And that’s what I
tried to capture, even though it’s
not my discipline. I’m sure I’d like to give
a chance to other people. Please, go ahead. Thank you for once
again reminding us of the continuing importance
of semiotics in science, both with regard to what
science operates upon and what it produces in terms
of contemporary culture. I am astonished, though, that
your fictional representation, your planetarium of
things contemporary, should be connected
to a climatic outcome that you describe as a
“climatic regime,” as a thing. Because the problem with climate
models, as with all models, is that they are not things. They are not what? They are not things. They are metaphysical
representations of what one hopes is reality. As someone who publishes in
climate science journals, I’m acutely aware of this,
and acutely disturbed, that one should elide the
political project, which has been ongoing for over a
generation, since Earth Day, with the actual state of
the art or the lack of it in the models that
to which we attribute to the future
condition of the world. Thank you. Well, you are then on planet– where are you, then, Escape? No. The planet where the climate– I’m Planet Complexity. Yes, OK, well– OK. But the whole argument
is based on the idea that there is something about
a new climatic regime which does make– you notice that I use
“new climatic regime.” I don’t use
“Anthropocene” so much, because precisely
Anthropocene would lead us into the stabilization of all
these models, which are always models, as you say. But new climatic
regime is a word which is much more closer
from law and politics, like “new regime–” that is
for Frenchmen, old regime, new regime, it means something. So this is why I
use this expression. It does something to the way
we organize our politics. And it was– this is
why Rich is interesting, because it was seen immediately
by the Reagan administration. They immediately
saw the relevance, even though 30 years ago, it
was not as certain as it is now. And they immediately
linked into it. The head of– I forget
the name of the head of– I don’t know what Peter
thinks of this article. But it was an interesting thing. Immediately, the core evolution
of denial and certainty, they grow together. The more you are certain,
the more you deny. That’s an interesting
phenomenon for science relation. Can you talk a little bit
just about the diagram, and the necessity of separation
versus the relationality of the elements to each other? Can you switch it off? Because I don’t want to have to
answer this question, because– You don’t? OK, Peter, you ask the question. No, but I think it’s interesting
that within the worldly, which is contemporary– That’s the problem with
talking with an architect and a designer. You have identity and
escape simultaneously, and you don’t necessarily
always have them. So the proximity– No, no, we are always planet– every one of us, we are
always Planet Simultaneously, of course, I’m sorry to say. No. Well, sorry, he
took it seriously. We want it back. No, the only thing I would
keep from the diagrams is the interesting curve. Because what I’m trying to
interest you, architect, to be inside the net. You see, is it’s not forward or
backward, or inside or outside. I mean, what happened was
with the pull to be inside, which is one very
interesting thing I’m doing with
scientists now, working on what I call “critical zone.” I’m doing an exhibition
on that, actually. And I’m interested in
developing, if any one of you had an idea, a link with what
you would call “landscape” and what those scientists
call “critical zone,” which is an interesting interface
I’m trying to develop. Anyway. Bruno’s looking for volunteers. So there’s somebody here. So one of the things that
strikes me about the diagram is that it’s all
circles and spirals, except for the terrestrial– that there is a way in
which something happens at the open-ended question
mark-headed arrow that leads through the terrestrial. And the terrestrial has
a kind of superposition of a cross-section
of the Earth, maybe, and a Mondrian painting, a kind
of “Broadway Boogie Woogie.” And then that put me
in mind of thinking of the planets, the planet
of the sprawl, of the urban in a transnational way, in which
we have all these connections with airplanes and
trains between cities. And the great
opposition that we feel, which is astonishing to
me at this late date, between the rural and
the urban, that we feel so strongly in France,
in Germany, in Brexit, in Trump’s election,
I mean, constantly this sense of the cities form
a kind of planet that exists– Themselves, yeah. –that is being rejected
hugely outside of the cities, and contested in the suburban
regimes that surround them. And I wondered, in
thinking about this moment of [inaudible] saying ruins of
our own societies that you put up late in the talk as you
came to the terrestrial, and how you think about this
overlay in the Gaia world of the built environment in
there, sort of the world of a– of a constructed world
inside this very thin, this razor-thin layer of Gaia. It’s an artifact,
actually, of Alexandra. Alexandra wrote a paper with me. I mean, she’s the first author
in “Anthropocene Review” on Gaiagraphy, which is this– so she took it– it’s actually very clever, but
of course, it’s invisible here, inversion of the
notion of a planet. So she reused that. I mean, it’s completely
opaque in this diagram. I’m really sorry, so
it ends up as a square. But it’s actually a very– now I feel in what you said
another question, which is, of course, those
three, actually, are, of course, half
cities, technospheres– I mean, completely abandoning
the position between land and– but with land, I was
talking about the soil. I was mentioning the Earth. We don’t have the right word. Of course, all of those
are, I mean, concepts. I mean, they are very
important concepts. It is very difficult, actually–
this is a whole part of it– to represent something
which is realistically what is the subsistence
condition of the people today. And that’s the source
of this orientation in my little argument there. And the disorientation
is bigger every day, when we learn about what the
scientists are telling us. Please, go ahead. Hi. Thank you. The title of your talk
reminds of a quote by one of your peers– “There is no world,
only islands,” which seems to underscore– There is no world, only what? There is no world, only islands. Only ions. Ions? Islands. Islands. Islands. Islands, oh, sorry. I’m sorry. So there is no
world, only islands, which seems to underscore
the impossibility for a common ground, which
is what characterizes post-modern thinking. In the wake of 2008, the crash– Who is my peer here? I didn’t get– Jacques Derrida. Ah, OK. Very honored to be a
peer of Jacques Derrida. In the wake of the
crisis, scholars concerned with post-capitalism
beyond capitalism identified the political problem
of one no, but many yeses. A new generation of scholars,
dissatisfied with this aspect of post-modern thinking– Sorry, but is there a question? Yes, so the question– Could you just ask it
as a question, though? The question is– Because he needs to follow. Yes, the question is
if you could elaborate on the idea of universalism,
which you briefly touched upon during your lecture. Well, one of the– I mean I don’t know if we
can go very far in this very strange planetology. But of course, one of
them is that everyone has a different metrics. This is what he alluded
to in the beginning. I mean, the metric is very,
very different in each of them. And the other thing is,
of course, the notion of universality is different. But the way I used the
word “wicked universality” is precisely inside
this argument, that the sharing is not– we have the same common world. We will find the solution
to climate change and to all the other
things, because we have the same set of principles. And we have problems,
then we have a solution, because it’s a common one. If this is universality,
then it’s gone on the island that you mentioned. But there is a wicked
[inaudible] back in, so to speak. And I’m doing an exhibit now
on that precise question, which is, Tsing’s argument. We collaborate on
this new ground, literally, which is
you lost your ground. We lost our ground. How do you do it? How do we do it? And that’s where
opening another– I mean, “universality”
is a very different term, except we share the diplomatic– I’ve tried to define the word
diplomacy in anthropology around that. It’s a diplomatic
encounter of people who have lost their land,
because many of these, apart from the two last
ones, I mean, all of them have lost their land. It’s complete asymmetry or
cantilever between the two. So it’s an open space of
discussion, and rituals, and all sort of
things to be invented, and for which there
are, as you know, many artists working
on that, which is, how do we share
the condition of having lost the land? And trying not to be all
in the Identity Planet? This is really– if we
are not able to find ways to talk to the people who
are massively migrating to identity, what we do,
especially in universities, is just wasted, so to speak. So this is why it’s so important
to really find a way to share. You lost your mind
and your land. We do it, too. OK, now how do we
build from that? Something– actually,
you mentioned Derrida. The whole reflection
of Derrida on Algeria, its past, et cetera,
could resonate with this, if you are interested. I don’t know what
Derrida would have done with the new
climatic regime, actually. It would be interesting. We’ll come to you. One second. Thank you very much. I’m looking at the
orrery model, kind of the series of spatial
bodies that are agglomerated in their relations. And there’s a few things
that I’ve been thinking of. One is that some now seem
to be qualified spatially, and others are yet waiting
for a spatial reference, although maybe that’s
embedded in the way you’ve presented them. So maybe the Escape
being that space capsule, or the thing that leaves the
main body ejected outside, because I’m a bit– I feel that the words “Global,”
“Planetary” and “Terrestrial” have a strong geographic
or spatial imaginary, and Escape, Identity,
and Contemporary are still waiting
for them to have a kind of a clearer, and maybe
spatial reference, a body that we can imagine. Is it an island? Is it a satellite? Is it a capsule, the thing
that leaves or the thing that rotates? But what I feel is that there is
that void that the blue marble image has left for us, as that
fixation of an image of that which brings us, that synthetic
image, and the desire to fill that void with some reference. So you mentioned the Earth a
few times in that conversation, and the title of
your recent book is Down to Earth or [inaudible]. And it seems somehow that
after the Terrestrial, the Earth leaves the picture,
but the Contemporary stays. So one question is,
on these bodies, where’s the Earth if it is any
of these spatial references? The other is the incentive
you, the invitation you, the underlying invitation
that there is a– the shift to the terrestrial
requires the politicization of Nature as one
that has taken over. And I’m wondering
what acts, what are possible routes,
invitation, what is the arrow? What is the? What is the arrow? What is the actual force? What is the action
that can allow us to move from one
spatial body to a next one? What could be possible actions
that allow that politicization of Nature to take over? How can we– I mean, if
the image of the revolution is not any more the
one, or the march, or the writing, or the drawing,
or the speaking, or– you know, you point to the void
that the intellectual has. What are the actions that could
allow us to shift the forces? Hold that thought, and
I get one more question, and then you answer
both at the same time? Do you think you can do that? I’m in your hands. I do whatever. And especially [inaudible]
is complicated, so if I can get out of that
one, I will be a happy man. This is two
questions, that’s why. Well, I hope I can help you. I think my question does
overlap a little with– Then answer her. –that complex one. It would be great if
you could answer her. But I – maybe this will
be an escape hatch– I really loved your
mapping, your descriptions. All those worlds had that
great satisfying click of recognizability. But except for Identity. And I felt, because I
live on and off in France, and I felt there was
something really, really French about
your sense of identity as a kind of enclosed
consciousness of rage and despair. I have this argument
all the time when I’m in France with people. In the United States, it
is often a very, very– the word has very different
connotations of community. OK, just hold on. Let me just finish. So of community,
which is something which is agential, and
can often produce changes that are beneficial. We are all sitting here hoping
that certain communities are going to at least prevent
the deepening hold of fascism over our government. Maybe we’re crazy
to, but I just wonder if you have thought
through your world Identity in terms of how
that concept works in places besides la Republic. Now, I understand that. And if you could help
me understand it better. Well, I’m a bit
French, so [inaudible].. But you’re talking
in universals. And also because I think
you’re perfectly right. I should drop identity,
actually, completely. Because I tried
precisely to avoid the word which would be
accusatory in any sense, like populism, and so on. And identity– you’re right. Well, it becomes
community, then we talk about something
completely different. But I’m aware, now
that you say it, that I projected some
French things there, and also because the tragedy in
Europe, maybe, is more tense. Well, actually, it’s
tense here, too. But I think, madam,
you’re perfectly right. So I will drop Identity
immediately from revision. But I need a better term. So I mean– Nationalism. No, because neo-national, neo– we want to keep
this word positive. Because I mean, escape, I don’t
try to be– because I mean, I can’t be fair with these
guys, but the acceleration is of the one who simultaneously
go to Mars and to New Zealand. I mean, it’s– I can’t. But identity, OK. We’ll discuss it. So what about the Earth? Well, the Earth
is the term which would have been unifying
the whole thing when we had a common world,
which we no longer have. So that’s the environment,
which is, of course, every one of these
planets or representations had a view of the
Earth as common. But we are several,
so it’s gone. It’s gone. It’s gone. It’s up in the diplomatic space,
but it’s gone in the sense that if you begin– I mean, this gentleman, the
first question, obviously, is on a word in which
the models of the climate is not the big question. So what it is to
be in a situation where what is the
main conditions of the temperature of
the modernist project is not unifiable. And you cannot play, again,
the goal of saying, well, this is just archaic and
obscurantist and anti-science, because it’s inside science. The IPCC Report of two weeks
ago is inside the sciences. And we are the
people who say, no. So the whole link,
also, between the state, scientific authority,
leadership, vanguard, all of that has
been sort of broken. So it’s very difficult now to
say, well, the Earth is this or the Earth is that. And yet, every day
in a newspaper, scientific or
otherwise, you get news that it’s going to be too late. It’s going to be too late. It’s going to be too late. It’s going to be too late. And we stay on our butt, with
this extraordinary decision. But it’s not a big deal. I mean, it is solvable. It’s not an enormous thing. But it is a decision not to act. And this is something
which breaks down the unity of the– of course,
the unity was, of course, fictional, but
the apparent unity of the current world,
in which everybody would have the same space. And then we would find
solutions, basically problem solving. But you wrote a whole book
on this question, actually, and which has a stylistic– one would have this title. We need not one book,
but we need seven. It will be interesting to see,
actually, stylistic difference. And Alexandra is a
bit working on that. She’s actually now in
an architectural school in Manchester,
with Albena Yaneva. And she’s doing a
PhD on this question of representation of Gaia. So there’s hope for architects. As long as there’s hope
for philosophy, I’m sure there will be hope
for architecture, too. Well, no philosopher would
[inaudible] that philosophy. But Bruno– You have to be French
to do [inaudible].. By the way, one word
that’s used in the context of the university, in lieu
of “identity” is “belonging.” Belonging, you need the soil. I know, but belonging
is not necessarily– no, no, it’s not only
referring to the soil. Belonging also belonging
to a community, a group, which is part of,
not dissimilar to identity. It’s not belonging
to that ground. It’s belonging in terms of– You need the ground
to have belonging, no? Not necessarily. Belonging is also in terms
of affiliation, associations, things like that. But we can discuss it later on. Anyway, thank you, Bruno. Thank you all very
much for coming. [applause]

Tags:, ,
3 Comments

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *