Nr. 48 - THE MODERN CONSTITUTION 2018, MAT

two times 50x 70 cm each: paper, ink.

The separation between Naturalia and Artificialia made in the Renaissance contributed to the evolution of Modern thought, in which that separation developed into divisions between, Object and Subject, between Facts and Values, Science&Technology at one side and Art, Politics, Religion at the other. An amalgam of dualisms that Bruno Latour called the “Modern Constitution”.

It might make sense to discuss the two elements of a single dualism, but it is un thinkable that all dualisms divide their elements along the same divide (see right panel). Take the division between Science and Politics and the division between Facts and Values. At first sight these divisions run along the same divide, in the sense that science deals with facts such as gravity or climate, and politics with values such as liberty and democracy. That is how the Moderns like to see it: everything clean and clear. But in practice things are different: science does also study liberty and democracy and politics deals with facts, in the sense that it might accept or negate and often deride them according to their scope. Hence, in reality, the division between Science and Politics stand perpendicular on the division between Fact and Values. And in the same way all divisions of the Modern Constitution do not run parallel but cross one another in many different ways (see left panel) and create again a chaos that, paradoxically, originates with the obsessive wish of the Moderns to separate and create order.