British sociologist John Law's book After Method: Mess in Social Science Research became an inspiration source for the curators of the 2nd Garage Triennial, Valentin Diaconov and Anastasia Mityushina, and served as a "roadmap" for exploring the broader picture of relationships in Russian art.
John Law is a prominent British sociologist, representative of Science and Technology Studies—one of the leading areas of contemporary social disciplines. Science as a subject of political declarations and idle talk is simple and seemingly comprehensible. As a research subject, however, it is complex and multiple. But what does it mean to investigate science, or what is actually researched when science itself is investigated? Having abandoned many axioms regarding science and the philosophical languages of its description and explanation, Science and Technology Studies—this large family of concepts and approaches to the study of science, a notable and important part of which is the work of John Law himself,—have ultimately radicalized and complicated the idea of where science is and how it is, proposing new ways to discover science, talk about it, and, most importantly, research it. It is this radicalization and this complication that the talk will focus on.
The Alchemist (1558), an engraving by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, will operate both as a visual epigraph and visual metaphor for the delicate conversation about how science itself turns into a research subject in a situation when our planet today is overflowing with major and minor performative and epistemological machines, which produce data, knowledge, hypotheses, theories, concepts, and implement many of them into real-life through practices, norms, regimes, and material objects.