This week we detour from our planned route though AIME to look at chapter 9, where Latour addresses The Bifurcation: ‘reality’ vs. ‘representation’.
Inevitably, we risk falling back on the idea that there is, on one side, that which exists, and, on the other, “representations” of that which exists. (p.234)
Bringing into play the mode of fiction, Latour ambitiously uses beings of fiction to explain an art-network that sustains the beings of fiction, and from this, briefly develops an aesthetic theory, and how it colonises other modes of existence. He also presents a alternative understanding of signifier and signified, and most paradoxically, how understanding beings of fiction will allow us to finally be true materialists.
Importantly, he sets up an interesting mode of veridiction for beings of fiction, which addresses arguments concerning the value and judgement of art and the relationship with an audience.
[PDF] Latour, B. (2013) “Situating the Beings of Fiction” An Inquiry into the Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns (C. Porter, Trans.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, ch. 9.