(C) 'Some Private Notes on 'Care'. Bernd Kräftner. 2017. Photograph: Brishty Alam

Caring. Enactments of Heterogeneous Relationships

Enactments of Heterogeneous Relationships

When hearing the term ‘caring’ we may think of bodies in the context of health care; or we think of citizens taken care of by social workers, educators, psychologists etc. Maybe we think of the state and democratic models of governance thereby instantiating a consensualised form of civility. Sometimes we are possibly reminded that ‘to care’ shares its etymological root with ‘to curate’, describing the role of the curator: in medieval times, a person devoted to the well-being of our souls, or, later, an organiser of aesthetic experiences who must care for artists and their audiences.

We are familiar with the tendency of opposing care to technology: care then has to do with warmth and love while technology, by contrast, is cold and rational – a dichotomy that can be extended: care is nourishing, technology is instrumental; care is overflowing and impossible to calculate, technology is effective and efficient. However, we live in a heterogeneous world. Heterogeneity at this point refers to a body of theoretical and empirical writing which treats social relations, including power and organisation, as network effects. It refers to ‘a way of suggesting that society, organisations, agents and machines are all effects generated in patterned networks of diverse (not simply human) materials.’1

During the academic year 2015/2016 students of the Art&Science master’s degree programme were exploring the ‘logic of caring’ within different domains. A heterogeneous list of chapters served as a starting point and inspiration.2 In the process of researching these chapters, the investigation materialised in the form of small exhibits throughout the year. Experienced ‘care-givers’ were invited as guest speakers: artists, practitioners, professionals, theoreticians, experts, pointed out their perspectives on care. Together with fragments of these perspectives, this book assembles some of the resulting works and reflections that students compiled during their respective research trajectories. Their research investigated the role of the deterministic body known by modern science and a fragile body in its intricate surroundings. It investigated the individual as autonomous being and as relational being. It investigated the enlightened citizen with a body that does not interfere with his or her plans, cognitive operations, impartial judgements, firm decisions and the citizen in a fleshy, fragile and mortal body situated within continuous inter-dependency. And it investigated interactions within social and material situations where norms are negotiated and practised within these situations and where those norms do not exist as standards outside of them.3

This book can be purchased from the Art & Science office for €12. Please contact us on .

Research reports: Eleni Boutsika-Palles, Daniela Brill, Ruben Gutzat, Bernd Kräftner, Anna Lerchbaumer, Barbara Macek, Mariia Panina, Lale Rodgarkia-Dara, Marwa Sarah, Irene Zluwa
Documentation of guest lectures & workshops: Brishty Alam, Eleni Boutsika-Palles, Daniela Brill, Valerie Deifel, Ruben Gutzat, Matilde Igual Capdevila, Anna Lerchbaumer, Barbara Macek, Lale Rodgarkia-Dara, Irene Zluwa
Transcripts & additional materials with courtesy of the invited guests listed below

Project chair: Bernd Kräftner
In collaboration with: Brishty Alam, Valerie Deifel
Editor: Bernd Kräftner
Assistant editors: Brishty Alam, Eleni Boutsika-Palles, Valerie Deifel, Ruben Gutzat, Lale Rodgarkia-Dara, Irene Zluwa
Publication management & copyediting: Brishty Alam, Valerie Deifel
Graphic design: Eleni Boutsika-Palles
Assistant designer: Matilde Igual Capdevila

Thanks to Virgil Widrich (Art & Science), Anja Seipenbusch (Publication Management/University of Applied Arts Vienna), and Gerald Bast (Rector/University of Applied Arts Vienna) for their help and support. Thanks to all of our guests and collaborators: Luis Aparicio, Peter Berz, Nicole De Brabandere, Judith Fegerl, Norbert Feldmann, Michael Höpfner, Franz Kainberger, Judith Kröll, Andrea Maier, Florian Menz, Ondřej Merta, Václav Peloušek, Bogdan Popov, Nina Prader, Andreas Spiegl, Thomas Wenzel, Chris Walzer, Laura Watts

1. Law, John (1992) ‘Notes on the Theory of the Actor-Network: Ordering, Strategy and Heterogeneity’, Systems Practice, 5 (1992), 379–93.
2. List of chapters (extract): Care for care: (Between a logic of care and a logic of choice.) Care for the Other: (Pain, medicine, and the question of cause & effect.) Care for the immaterial: (How we care for the dead.) Care for material: (Forging knowledge.) Care for (technological) instruments: (Tinkering/‘doctoring’ vs Control.) Care for the social: (Statistical data and the crafting of a society). Care for a future: (Intricacies of nuclear waste management: how to become a speculator.)
3. This array is paraphrasing: Mol, Annemarie. The logic of care: health and the problem of patient choice. London; New York: Routledge, 2008.

Fact Box

Caring. Enactments of Heterogeneous Relationships
June 27, 2017