“New Artrends”Master Lectures
We have never been modern? - Dialogue with Bruno Latour
Organizers: New Century Art Foundation, Central Academy of Fine Arts
Exclusive art media partner: LEAP
Speakers: Bruno Latour, Judith Farquhar, Wang Min’an, Wu Guosheng, Wang Jianwei
Date: 2:30-5pm, May 13th, 2017
Venue: Lecture Hall at CAFA Art Museum
Bruno Latour (1947-) is a renowned contemporary philosopher and anthropologist—a leading scholar in both scientific sociology and the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS). He is one of the most influential ideologists in Europe and America today.
Latour has a wide range of interests. He has dedicated his time to anthropological field survey of scientists and engineers from California and Africa and to research of philosophy, history, sociology, and anthropology. His research has generated a wealth of results. The laboratory anthropologist research method and the actor-network-theory for which he advocated, as well as his works Laboratory Life; We Have Never Been Modern; Reassembling The Social; and Politics of Nature are not only significant in the field of sociology, but also enlightening and creative tools of study and practice adopted by many other disciplines—including the arts.
Latour has curated multiple exhibitions, attempting to combine his research with artists’ practice, including “Reset Modernity!” (now on tour at the Shanghai Himalayas Museum, and shown at the Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe in 2016); “Beyond the Image-Wars in Science, Religion and Art” (2002); “Making Things Public: Atmospheres of Democracy” (2005), and others. He has been awarded the 2013 Holberg International Memorial Prize.
This time, Latour’s trip to Asia provides us a rare opportunity for dialogue in the aforementioned areas. Co-organized by Central Academy of Fine Arts and New Century Art Foundation, the lecture will cover various topics of modernity and the interdisciplinary connections between art, philosophy, and science.
Bruno Latour, born in June of 1947 to the first winemaking family from Burgundy, France, was trained successively in philosophy and anthropology. From 1982 to 2006, he was a professor at the Center for Sociology of Innovation at Mines ParisTech and was a visiting professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science; in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University; and at the University of California, San Diego. He also held the Spinoza Chair of Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam. In 2008, he was elected Fellow of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is now a professor at the Research Center in Sociology at Sciences Po Paris.
Judith Farquhar is Max Palevsky Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Chicago. Her research has long focused on the development and practice of traditional Chinese medicine in modern China, and on cultures of health and embodiment in both rural and urban China. She is the author of Knowing Practice: The clinical encounter of Chinese medicine (1994), a philosophical study of the logic of practice in Chinese medicine; of an ethnographic study of popular health culture in China’s 1980s, Appetites: Food and Sex in Post-Socialist China(2002); and of Ten Thousand Things: Nurturing Life in Contemporary Beijing (2012), a study of wellness practices co-authored with Qicheng Zhang of the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. Her current research on ethnic traditional medicines in China is collaborative with Lili Lai of Peking University Medical Humanities.
Wang Min’an, professor at the Capital Normal University, focuses his research on contemporary criticism theory, on which he has published multiple essays. He is the editor of Renwen Kexue Yicong [Humanities Translation Studies] and Producing. His publications include Who is Roland Barthes, The Limits of Michel Foucault, Friedrich Nietzsche and Body, Body, Space, and Postmodernity, The Factory of Images, Sensory Technologies, Modernity, What is Contemporary, On Appliance, among others.
Wu Guosheng, professor at the School of Humanities at Tsinghua University, was previously a professor in the Department of Philosophy and
Director of the Center for History and Philosophy of Science at Peking University. He also served as Vice President of Chinese Society for the History of Science and Technology. He received a bachelor’s degree in space physics in the department of Geophysics at Peking University in 1986, and a PhD at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in 1998. His major publications include What is Science, The Course of Science, Re-thinking Science, Lectures on Philosophy of Technology, Science vs Humanism Interlocution, Melancholy of Modernity, The Concept of Time, and Greek Concept of Space. His research focuses on the study of natural science based on the topic of “remembrance of nature”; the history of scientific thought based on Koyr’s conceptual analysis; the philosophy of science as it relates to phenomenology and hermeneutics; and the philosophy of technology, a field heavily underpinned by critical theory of technology.
Wang Jianwei, born in 1958 in Sichuan, China, currently lives and works in Beijing. Since the 1990s, Wang has been exploring the effects of knowledge integration and interdisciplinary research on contemporary art, attempting to use the research methods of other disciplines as building blocks for a new art language. By exploring the relationships between academic fields, he hopes to develop and establish an altogether new subject from the cognitive level. In the context of knowledge integration, through philosophical inquiry, he is trying to engineer a cross-disciplinary means of viewing the world and to endow it with substantive form. His works combine film, theatre, installation, painting, and text. Wang was invited to participate in Documenta, Venice Biennale, and the São Paulo Biennial. In 2008, Wang was awarded a grant by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. His major exhibitions of recent years include Yellow Signal, ...the event matured, accomplished in sight of all non-existent human outcomes, Time Temple, and Dirty Substance.