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Maintaining/supporting: fragility as a mode of existence

Maintenir / soutenir : de la fragilité comme mode d'existence

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Published on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 by Anastasia Giardinelli

Summary

The seminar starts with one observation: the proliferation of research that deals with care, or attention, investigating the climate or Gaia, the art of repairing objects or conserving artworks, the maintenance of technical networks, or the right ways to consider vulnerable or marginalised people. Philosophically, critically, politically, what does it take to support fragile entities? We less take fragility as a state that defines some of us than as a shared way of grasping open realities, rough but rich in possibilities, requiring forms of attention that make us sensitive to these calls. Playing a part in this momentum, in the wake of the resumption of pragmatism or pluralistic anthropologies, we will discuss these researches of a new kind. By connecting them, the aim is to unfold the forms of inquiry, writing and action that these studies require and permit to reinvent, while reformulating the concepts that may support this movement.

Announcement

CSI Research Seminar, organised by Jérôme Denis, Antoine Hennion and David Pontille

Presentation

The seminar starts with one observation: the current proliferation of research that deals with care, or attention. These studies investigate the climate or Gaia, the art of repairing objects or conserving artworks, the maintenance of technical networks, or the right ways to consider vulnerable or marginalised people. Our project will be successful if we manage to find fertile passages - tighter, better woven, singular, to dig in situation - between empirical research and the thematic speculative approaches emerging everywhere on this matter: reflections on what it takes, philosophically, critically, politically, to support fragile entities, and thus to participate in the curious reciprocal enrichment that such caring relations carry, as if they were granting each of their terms more existence.

Beyond the variety of these studies and the imperious nature of the commitment they demand, it appears to us that this growing body of research demonstrates a worry and concern that is new, both in terms of sensitivity and of objectives, vis-à-vis the fragility of the world, beings and things. Beings or states that are at the same time endangered and in the process of constituting: this could be the provisional definition of fragility or precariousness we adopt. We do not take fragility as a state that only defines some of us but as a shared way of grasping these open realities, often rough but rich in possibilities; fragility is not a flaw or a lack, according to a default definition, but what requires a form of attention that makes us sensitive to these calls.

By accompanying rather than observing these realities, researchers mobilize a wide range of resources from different traditions. Going beyond the requirement for participation, one has to question the very nature of research if one has to reconcile one’s care for the state of the world with the need for rigorous empirical investigations. This should include the modes of inquiry, the relationship with the actors, objects and environments, the status of texts and deeds produced, as well as questioning our interactions with other disciplines and with philosophers, writers, artists or activists.

Taking advantage of this momentum, in which we play a part, and in the wake of the resumption of pragmatism, philosophies of difference or pluralistic anthropologies, the seminar aims at a better understanding of these researches of a new kind. By discussing them and connecting them, sometimes paradoxically, around the topic of fragility, our aim is to unfold the forms of inquiry, writing and action that these studies all at once require and reinvent, while reformulating the concepts that may support this movement.

Programme

  • December 19, 2017: Introduction to the seminar, by its organizers.
  • January 23, 2018: Didier Debaise, Le récit des êtres précaires. Héritages du pragmatisme
  • March 6: Marielle Macé, La vie qualifiée
  • Mars 20: Alexei Yurchak, Laboratory for the Future: Lenin’s body between biochemistry and art
  • May 22: Anne-Sophie Haeringer, La fin de vie comme art de ménager d’innombrables passages
  • June 5: Fernando Domìnguez Rubio, The fragile object of art: An ecological investigation into the arts of care, meaning, and imagination
  • June 26: Tim Edensor, Maintaining, Restoring, Neglecting and Disposing: the changing values of Melbourne's building stones

Open seminar, held once a month over two years, on Tuesday 11 am-1 pm (December 2017 to June 2019) salle St-Jacques at CSI, Mines-ParisTech, 60 bd St-Michel 75006 Paris. Please announce your presence to catherine.lucas@mines-paristech.fr

Places

  • Mines ParisTech, salle St-Jacques au CSI - 60 bd St-Michel
    Paris, France (75006)

Date(s)

  • Tuesday, March 06, 2018
  • Tuesday, March 20, 2018
  • Tuesday, May 22, 2018
  • Tuesday, June 05, 2018
  • Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Keywords

  • fragilité, enquête, pragmatisme, migrations, art, santé, objets techniques, maintenance

Contact(s)

  • Antoine Hennion
    courriel : antoine [dot] hennion [at] mines-paristech [dot] fr

Information source

  • Antoine Hennion
    courriel : antoine [dot] hennion [at] mines-paristech [dot] fr

To cite this announcement

« Maintaining/supporting: fragility as a mode of existence », Seminar, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, February 21, 2018, https://calenda.org/434497

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