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edited by Bruno Latour, Peter Weibel
Making Things Public : Atmospheres of Democracy
<book> The MIT Press
The 'public' dimension (related to the common urban and networked spaces) is the place where social mediations and force ratio happen. This bulky catalogue of another impressive exhibition, made with the huge resources gathered by the ZKM, Karlsruhe, encloses dozens of different perspectives about the context of a democracy. Zooming from a strictly personal dimension to the almost instant mass power we travel through the problems of representativeness till the spectacle of the social representations. Power, consent, conflicts, strategies, rules, and dissent forms are condensed in a cloud of force ratio, explicit and implicit, mutually influenced in a sensitive conservative system, that can preserve inside all the expressed amount of energy, methodically absorbing every new peak. The aesthetical and infrastructural conditions of power overbearingly emerge from the rest, because they are able to lure the collective imaginary through a myriad of tools, most of them reversible. For this reason the fragile transition from the individual's singularity to the society's plurality, carefully analyzed and put in a historical context, has one thousand potential occasions of freeing.