Nathalie Blanc

Frailty (A Manifesto)

It must be recognized…
Fragility of life is history. The more we grow, ripen, age, the more the sense of fragility increases. Life is a balance continually conquered. Fragility is akin to grace and it is in those moments of weakness that people become aware. Define grace: it is the sovereign instant when you emerge, there where you were not. Thus fragility meets with strength, becoming self-recognition.

It is the same with ecologies. Recognize our weaknesses, and we will gain in strength. Recognize our dependencies and solidarities, the necessary fragility of our ecological condition, and we will gain in strength. The costs of economic development are considerable and we play the role of sorcerer's apprentice, wanting to control the environment. We measure human impact on the earth as the equivalent of a geological age. It is likely that this game will leave us lifeless unless we go for fragility, and count on it.

Fragility is the precarious aesthetics of our links and interdependencies. This aesthetic frees itself from the idea of autonomy, and our ties become being/living things. I am, and I grow in the act of transforming myself and my environment. Sensitive aesthetic decisions give meaning to my world. Therefore, on a purely aesthetic level, it is essential to link the individual and the collective, to construct a way of thinking in common.

We think we will have to live in a fragile manner, with no guarantees. Today we know that we are ignorant of many things: the impact of scientific experiments on bodies and environments; the impact of corporate development. Will we know better tomorrow? Will we master our ecosystems through engineering? We have to question the effort required by control and stop wanting to exploit all tangible and intangible resources at all costs. The effort to control as well as the exploitation of resources, should be reconsidered, recognising that fragilities of life form a new horizon. It is enough to hear what we perceive intimately. We have to put ourselves in “vibration mode”.

The civilization of ecological living is the recognition of abuse. An abuse of one's being that comes down to being whatever the cost: being a hero, a hero of one's own life, a hero of the lives of others. Yet there can be no other victory than to devise a new perspective; the ability to recognize the idea of ​​a new way of being. This is the Manifesto for Fragility.

That which it is possible to do…
This is the story of a balance to be built and negotiated at every moment, never being sure what ecological dynamics will throw up next. Because we did not conceive them thus, these ecological dynamics foreshadow the future and shape it. It is the emergence of a culture of exchange between the environment and the self, highlighting ecological actions that we need to watch. It is accepting to lay oneself bare, making the envelope transparent so as to see the unseen, that which we felt unconsciously, but preferred to let it escape our attention.

We want to open a space of anxiety to begin to become familiar with what scares us. Falls, breaks, the unexpected, risks, where alterations thus become not threats, but parts of existence that help define the nature of our ordinary days. To take into account these dimensions of existence is to seek to capture the physical, dynamic, or aesthetic qualities of life by betting that we will find the resources and forms to provide different values.

Political fragility thus embodies the creation of temporal spaces which leave open the possibility for discrete, uncertain, modest and ongoing gestures to emerge. It is about giving way to the living and its modes of representation. It must be able to speak. Languages ​​and forms that interfere where they are not expected. Stories of degeneration and morphogenesis, pollution and dialectic, germination and jolts. Wanderings and surprises.

Fragility represents the possibility of a future where power is reflected in the ability to do. A modest power to act where we thought this was no longer possible or impossible. Political fragility that knows how to act in ways other than via the usual mechanics of authority. A policy that surges through the details, the infra-thin, the minority, the crevice, to regain forgotten aspects of our realities and our imaginations. A politic of sensitive bodies offering an enriched conversation with the world. A world to preserve, and the promise of self-transformation to live anew!

Keywords: Frailty, ecology, sensitive bodies
Genealogies: (in french) Étymol. and Hist. End xiith century. fragiliteiz (Sapientia ds Dialogue Grégoire, 286, 4 ds T.-L.). Lat. class. fragilitas « faiblesse, fragilité »; has replaced old french fraileté (v. T.-L.), derivative of frêle.
Synonyms: weakness
Antonyms: constance

Exhibition at the gallery Equidem Vivo: What makes fragility (75006, Paris).
Writing A Manifesto: What makes Fragility, distributed online, and directed.
Proposal Artistic form of sound wineskins; musical development of sung texts.
Performance - Reading two voices (with Emeline Eudes) from a set of texts collected from an online appeal on the theme of The Fragility.
Organization of a series of events: performances, lectures, concert.

COST Action IS1307 New Materialism: Networking European Scholarship on 'How Matter Comes to Matter'.

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With the changing of societies on local, national and international scales owing to economic, ecological, political and technological developments and crises, a reorganized academic landscape can be observed to be emerging. Scholarship strives to become increasingly interdisciplinary in order to grasp and examine the unfolding complexity of ongoing ecological, socio-cultural and politico-economic changes. Additionally, academics forge... Read more or find out Who's Who

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Genealogies of New Materialisms; examines and intervenes in canonization processes by compiling a web-based bibliography, coordinating the OST 068/13 8 EN... Read more

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New Materialisms on the Crossroads of the Natural and Human Sciences; seeks to develop new materialisms at the boundaries of the human and natural sciences. The group focuses on how European new materialisms can rework the ‘Two Cultures' gap... Read more

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New Materialisms Embracing the Creative Arts; brings together European researchers, artists, museum professionals, and other activists with a keen interest in the material... Read more

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New Materialisms Tackling Economical and Identity – Political Crises and Organizational Experiments... Read more


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New Materialism —
Networking European Scholarship on 'How matter comes to matter’

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