addressing the reactionary present

Bruno Latour specifies in an interview blogged on Re-public his point of view of our approach in so called modernity ‘We never have been modern“, which was one of his earlier book titles:

If science studies is right in erasing the divide between nature and society, it remains true that the readers of those work still maintain a strict dichotomy that renders them unable to register what they read in any another position than the alternative of social construction versus realism. The book explores the possible philosophical origin of this dichotomy, gives another definition of modernity, establishes some of the basis for a symmetric or comparative anthropology and offers an alternative with the notion of collective.

He addresses mainly his view and work on ‘making things public‘ with quite some references to P. Sloterdijk’s ideas of spheres which defines

… politics will become what he [Sloterdijk] calls “spherology” which is about the habitats, artificial environments, artificial surroundings in which we are and co-exist. In arguments of this type, it is true that the central metaphors tend towards space rather than time. They are formed primarily in architecture and in co-existence rather than in the great revolutionary narratives that reigned for centuries in their left or right versions of history. Sloterdijk proposed another more interesting term to replace that of revolution: “explicitation”. The history of explicitation is made increasingly intelligible in the spheres and objects to which we are attached. ….

An interesting read makes the passage with his interpretation about the web as an utopia redeemed space with just minor passion and turns to the pixelation of the politics conbcluding that Second Life behaviour defines ‘First Life’ as virtual, but Second Life as real because of the material replay of so called reality in virtuality:

… It is, however, interesting because we can see the rematerialisation, layer by layer of what existence in a virtual world means. The term “virtual” is, in fact, not appropriate because it is the normal state of affairs. “First Life” is virtual whereas Second Life is material since one is obliged to pay the price. Not very much, but a cost nonetheless. All those things that facilitate the replacement of virtual relations between symbolic and material are of interest because they preclude a lot of the nonsense that suggests that we are moving from a real world into an imaginary world. …

go here to read the whole interview

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