Artifacts studies

De erg

Professor : Pierre-Philippe Duchâtelet

This seminar for students of the Masters Degrees in Design and Politics of the Multiple (MA) and Artistic Practices and Scientific Complexity (MA) supports the multidisciplinary workshop. It aims to develop a study of artifacts - understood as all types of manufactured objects resulting from human activity - in their relationship to politics. Artifacts are numerous: architectural works, chairs, books, road signs, bridges, tomato harvesting machines, drones, closed centres. They can be taken as machines, assemblies, arrangements, objects with "anima" or devices. They are always made up of several parts and elements configured, oriented, drawn deliberately, but also carrying effects outside any determination, and based on a reading of Langdon Winner's text "Do artifacts have politics?", we first address Winner's idea that artifacts can incorporate specific forms of power or ideology. We continue by asking ourselves what this relationship between politics and artifact could mean in order to go beyond Winner's point of view, by recognizing that artefacts have their own capacity to act or to make them act, beyond a simple function as transmitters of ideologies. Several artifacts are introduced into the seminar space throughout the year. Different formats of exchanges are used during the seminar: presentations, discussions, debates, actions and group readings. At the end of the first quadrennium, students will be asked to compile and link, in written form, different summary notes taken at each seminar session. During the second quarter, these notes will be the subject of editorial work evaluated at the end of the year. An understanding of English reading is desirable.