23 April 2016, 7.35 p.m.
Here is a first suggestion for launching the discussion (taking into account the sentence by Latour about James that you quoted).
William James’s ‘Pluralistic Universe’ is important to me in many different ways and for many different reasons, but, above all, because it defends the view that concepts distort rather than reveal reality. This can be pushed further, as the American philosopher Nelson Goodman did, by considering that reality in itself does not really exist. It is, at least, a kind of empty shell. However, ‘something’ is there, around us, acting on us. Dying and suffering are not social conventions. So, what are we doing when we try to create something? We are indeed probably making maps. Maps are never in a perfect one-to-one bijective correspondence with the actual landscape (the very idea of an actual landscape is not even obvious). One has to select a scale, a colour code, a set of meaningful types, etc. The map is, in itself, a creation made under the strong constraint of having to express something significant about the land it accounts for. I see myself, in my work as an astrophysicist, as a kind of cartographer. I do have a huge freedom in selecting what I consider to be important and in the way I try to build a correct theory, but I do have to face the constraints of observations and experiments. The ‘multiverse’ is not only in the different universes that were possibly created by the inflationary stage just after the Big Bang but also in our ways of world-making. And I see you somehow on the same axis: an inventor of worlds, who still needs and wants to account for what is beyond its own creation, a kind of excess and surpassed solipsism: we know that we cannot touch reality beyond ourselves, but still, if we do not try to change the axis, there is no point inventing anything. This is, in particular, something I feel about your artwork Your unpredictable path, created for this exhibition. Would you agree with this?