POST-AIME BLUES

There is a very interesting post festum analysis of by Bruno Latour, Donato Ricci, Robin de Mourat, Christophe Leclercq, and an equally interesting response by Vassilis Kollias.

I discovered the article and Vassilis’s response to it by chance today. This is very strange as I was a passionate co-inquirer, and have had several contributions published on the AIME platform. I even have an article accepted for the RESET MODERNITY catalogue. So aside from my surprise at discovering this text, and disappointment at not having been informed of its existence, I have the feeling of being objectified by it.

As Vassilis points out, some of the terminology employed in the article both reifies and invalidates commentators with undesired reactions. The whole thing is too intellectual, and the affective element is left out. I for one poured my heart and soul into participating in and accompanying the AIME experiment.

I also agree that the term “co-inquirer” is very ambiguous in that it seems to promise an equality (“co-“), an openness (“inquire”) and an agency (“-er”), and that this promise was not fully honoured. I think the analytical terms deployed project any real problems onto the other, as not really entering into the project, and leaves as the only self-criticism a possible lack of adequate pedagogy. However, some people may have desired to redefine the constraints and expectations, to take agency, rather than being simply mistaken.

The overall view seems to remain “Kuhnian” in that criticism and hostility are put down to mismatched (read “inappropriate”) perceptions and expectations, and categorised as “anomalies”.

The abstract invites us to imagine

“an open, on-and-off-line platform to collaborate with peers where all must subscribe to a strict protocol to express their ideas”.

The ensuing analysis is very interesting in that it is exclusively cognitive, and validates a fixed “protocol” with no mention of the leitmotif of diplomacy and negotiation that was held to be a key ingredient of the AIME project.

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