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The Call of Fragile Entities - PUL, 2018

04 June 2018
filed under: report


In the world of research, you have to be a little patient...

Presses Universitaires de Liège have recently published the results of an interdisciplinary research seminar entitled The Call of Fragile Entities: Inquiring with the modes of existence of Bruno Latour, edited by Ariane D'Hoop et François Thoreau.

Back in June 2014 we had been invited to the last debriefing session during which all the contributors provided us with an update on their research. We then combined the work done into a collaborative text, which we then included in our catalogue during the Reset Modernity! exhibition.

This book presents several types of inquiry. We come across, pell-mell, projects championed by architects, a psychiatric care facility undergoing renovation, the development of an algorithmic surveillance system, a battleground between British miners and police forces, a winegrower struggling with the consequences of elusive climate change, and even an artist seeking to portray the manufacture of images as evidence during a trial for genocide.

The common feature running through all these inquiries are the uncertainties about the entities involved. What are their gradients of reality? How can we characterise the quality of their existence? Specifically, why do these entities matter and what difference do they make? Whether the situation involves learning processes automated by machines, the layout of a space that makes it conducive to care, or the gradual rise of architectural forms, the inquiry is enhanced an attentiveness paid to these entities and their fragile existences. To tackle these vital questions, this book builds on the inquiry proposed by Bruno Latour in the Inquiry into the Modes of Existence. The modes of existence allow for all kinds of unexpected explorations. They gradually lead to being able to discern some of the forces at work, that could otherwise be so easily overlooked. Each contribution proposes, in an experimental manner, ways to define the issues that matter in each situation. Along the way, we must be careful not to trample on the paths taken by these entities when populating their respective worlds and contributing to making them habitable places.

[Translation: "The Call of Fragile Entities - Inquiring with modes of existence". This superb volume edited by François Thoreau & Ariane d'Hoop, and published by Presses Universitaires de Liège offers an opportunity to look back at the work done during AIME (hint : it's all in the "with").]

PS: Blog post kindly translated by Cormac O'Keeffe


Presses Universitaires de Liège. L’Appel des entités fragiles: Enquêter avec les modes d'existence de Bruno Latour. URL:

AIME Seminar in Bruxelles - 26 June 2014 - Results.

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