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Des êtres vivants et des artefacts

L’imbrication des processus vitaux et des processus techniques
Of Living Beings and Artefacts. The Articulation of Vital and Technical Processes
Éditeur scientifique Perig Pitrou, Ludovic Coupaye et Fabien Provost
Avec la collaboration de Roy Ellen, Carole Ferret, Eduardo Kac, Frédéric Keck, Emma Kowal, Dominique Lestel, Doyle McKey, Joanna Radin, Laura M. Rival, Rupert Stasch et Nancy J. Turner
Des êtres vivants et des artefacts

Colloque international organisé les 9 et 10 avril 2014 au musée du quai Branly par Perig Pitrou, Ludovic Coupaye et Laura Rival, en partenariat avec le Laboratoire d’anthropologie sociale, la Pépinière interdisciplinaire CNRS-PSL « Domestication et fabrication du vivant », le département de la recherche et de l’enseignement du musée du quai Branly, la Fondation Fyssen et la Ville de Paris.

Avec les contributions de Ludovic Coupaye, Roy Ellen, Carole Ferret, Eduardo Kac, Frédéric Keck, Emma Kowal, Dominique Lestel, Doyle McKey, Perig Pitrou, Joanna Radin, Laura Rival, Rupert Stasch et Nancy J. Turner.

En dépit des différences existant entre les êtres vivants et les artefacts, il est fréquent que les sociétés humaines tentent d’expliquer certains processus vitaux – tels que la croissance, la reproduction, l’animation – à travers les analogies qu’ils présentent avec les processus techniques, comme on l’observe par exemple dans les mythes de création. Par-delà ces ressemblances, il est surtout intéressant de constater que ces processus s’imbriquent de diverses manières selon que l’on observe les activités agricoles, horticoles ou pastorales, l’incorporation d’artefacts (greffes, ornements), la transformation, rituelle ou non, d’êtres vivants en artefacts ou encore le biomimétisme. La pluralité des actions, de fabrication ou de domestication, grâce auxquelles les humains exercent leur pouvoir sur le vivant renvoie ainsi à des conceptions de la vie qui varient selon les champs de la pratique, les époques ou les cultures. À travers une approche interdisciplinaire et comparatiste s’appuyant sur des enquêtes menées dans des sociétés occidentales et non-occidentales, ce colloque international proposait aux participants de commencer à explorer cette multiplicité.

Certaines présentations faites lors du colloque ont donné lieu à des publications dans des revues, elles ne sont donc pas intégrées dans ces Actes, mais sont consultables grâce aux liens suivants :

Houdart, Sophie
2015 « Petits récits destinés à joindre les deux bouts des particules au cosmos – en passant par la Suisse », Gradhiva 22 : 106-135. [Lien]

Stépanoff, Charles
2015 « Transsingularities : the cognitive foundations of shamanism in Northern Asia », Social Anthropology 23 (2) : 169-185. [Lien]

Proceedings edited by Perig Pitrou, Ludovic Coupaye and Fabien Provost

International conference organized on the 9th and 10th of April 2014 at the musée du quai Branly by Perig Pitrou, Ludovic Coupaye and Laura Rival, in partnership with the Laboratoire d’anthropologie sociale, the Pépinière interdisciplinaire CNRS-PSL « Domestication et fabrication du vivant », the Department of research and education of the musée du quai Branly, the Fyssen Foundation and the City of Paris.

With contributions by Ludovic Coupaye, Roy Ellen, Carole Ferret, Eduardo Kac, Frédéric Keck, Emma Kowal, Dominique Lestel, Doyle McKey, Perig Pitrou, Joanna Radin, Laura Rival, Rupert Stasch and Nancy J. Turner.

In spite of the differences that separate living beings and artefacts, human societies frequently attempt to account for certain vital processes –such as growth, reproduction, animation– by making use of to the analogies that they present with technical processes, as we can see in the case of creation myths. Beyond these similarities, it is particularly interesting to notice that such processes are articulated in diverse ways, whether we observe agricultural, horticultural or pastoral activities, the incorporation of artefacts (transplantation, ornament), the transformation –be it ritual or not– of living beings into artefacts, or biomimicry. The plurality of actions, of fabrication or domestication, thanks to which humans exert their power on living beings, reflects certain conceptions of life which vary in function of the fields of practice, historical eras and cultures. Following an interdisciplinary and comparative approach which relies on investigations carried out in both Western and non-Western societies, this conference was offering its participants to begin the exploration of this multiplicity.

Certain presentations of the conference led to publications in journals and are therefore not included in these proceedings. They are available at the following links:

Houdart, Sophie
2015 « Petits récits destinés à joindre les deux bouts des particules au cosmos – en passant par la Suisse », Gradhiva 22 : 106-135. [Lien]

Stépanoff, Charles
2015 « Transsingularities : the cognitive foundations of shamanism in Northern Asia », Social Anthropology 23 (2) : 169-185. [Lien]

Notes de la rédaction

Images de couverture, de gauche à droite, de haut en bas: S. Houdart, L. Coupaye, P. Pitrou, E. Kac.

Informations

Collection :
Les actes
Mis en ligne en :
janvier 2016
Lieu de parution :
Paris
Année de parution :
2016

À propos des auteurs

  • Frédéric Keck a étudié les dispositifs de surveillance des maladies animales transmissibles aux humains au Laboratoire d’anthropologie sociale et est directeur du département de la recherche et de l’enseignement au musée du quai Branly. Il est notamment l’auteur d’Un monde grippé (Flammarion, 2010) et il a co-dirigé (avec Noëlie Vialles) Des hommes malades des animaux (Éditions de L'Herne, 2012).
    [Frederic.Keck [@] quaibranly.fr]
  • Ancien membre de la Casa de Velázquez, Perig Pitrou est anthropologue au CNRS au sein du Laboratoire d’anthropologie sociale du Collège de France. À l’EHESS, il anime avec Dimitri Karadimas le séminaire « Anthropologie de la vie et des représentations du vivant ». Il a dirigé le programme de recherche de la fondation Fyssen « Des êtres vivants et des artefacts » durant l’année 2013-2014. Il est maintenant co-directeur de la Pépinière Interdisciplinaire CNRS-PSL « Domestication et fabrication du vivant » (https://domesticationetfabricationduvivant.wordpress.com/) qui réunit des chercheurs des sciences de la nature et des sciences humaines et sociales afin de réfléchir à la question des frontières entre le vivant et le non-vivant. Il est l’auteur d’une monographie intitulée Le chemin et le champ : sacrifice et parcours rituel chez les Mixe de Oaxaca, élaborée lors d’une enquête ethnographique de longue durée réalisée parmi des populations amérindiennes du Mexique et le coéditeur d’un ouvrage collectif, La noción de vida en Mesoamérica.
    [perig.pitrou [@] college-de-france.fr]
  • Roy Ellen is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and Human Ecology at the University of Kent. He undertook his doctoral training at the London School of Economics, where he held his first academic position. Since 1973 he has taught at the University of Kent, establishing its programmes of environmental anthropology and ethnobotany, and where he was founding Director of the Centre for Biocultural Diversity. He has undertaken fieldwork in Indonesia, and additionally managed projects in Brunei and the United Kingdom. He was elected to a Fellowship of the British Academy in 2003, and served as President of the Royal Anthropological Institute between 2007 and 2011. His books include, among others, The categorical impulse: essays on the anthropology of classifying behavior (Berghahn Books, 2006) and Nuaulu religious practices: the frequency and reproduction of rituals in a Moluccan society (KITLV Press, 2012).
    [R.F.Ellen [@] kent.ac.uk]
  • Carole Ferret, chargée de recherche au CNRS, est Directrice adjointe du Laboratoire d’anthropologie sociale, Paris. Ses recherches de terrain se déroulent depuis 1993 en Asie intérieure, plus particulièrement chez les Iakoutes (Sakha), en Sibérie orientale, et les Kazakhs, en Asie centrale. En 2006, doctorat d’anthropologie sociale à l’EHESS, thèse intitulée : Techniques iakoutes aux confins de la civilisation altaïque du cheval : contribution à une anthropologie de l’action. Ses thèmes de recherche principaux sont l’anthropologie de l’action, l’ethnographie des techniques, l’ethnologie de l’éducation, le traitement de la nature et traitement d’autrui et le pastoralisme. Elle est l’auteur d’Une civilisation du cheval : les usages de l'équidé de la steppe à la taïga (Belin, 2009) et a co-dirigé (avec Charles Stépanoff, Gaëlle Lacaze et Julien Thorez) Nomadismes d’Asie centrale et septentrionale (Armand Colin, 2013).
    [carole.ferret [@] college-de-france.fr]
  • Emma Kowal is a Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University. She is a cultural anthropologist who has previously worked as a medical doctor and public health researcher in Indigenous health settings. Her research interests include Indigenous-state relations, whiteness and anti-racism, race and science. Since 2007 she has been researching the use of genetics in Indigenous Australian communities. Her current project, supported by the Australian Research Council is an anthropological and historical study of Indigenous biospecimen collections. She is an editor of Postcolonial Studies journal and Convenor of the Asia-Pacific Science, Technology and Society Network. She is the author of Trapped in the gap: doing good in Indigenous Australia (Berghahn, 2015).
    [emma.kowal [@] deakin.edu.au]
  • Dominique Lestel est un philosophe qui travaille depuis vingt ans sur les intoxications conjointes de l’humain et du non-humain. Il a publié de nombreux livres sur le sujet, en particulier L’animal est l’avenir de l’homme (Fayard, 2010), Apologie du carnivore (Fayard, 2011) et The friends of my friends : a new look at human/animal relationships (Columbia University Press, 2015). La revue anglaise Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities a consacré un numéro spécial à son travail en 2014.
    [lestel [@] ens.fr]
  • Nancy J. Turner is an ethnobotanist whose research is focused on traditional knowledge systems and traditional land and resource management systems of Indigenous Peoples of northwestern North America and western Canada. She is Distinguished Professor and Hakai Professor in Ethnoecology in the School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria, Canada. She has worked with First Nations elders and cultural specialists in northwestern North America for over 40 years, helping to document, retain and promote their traditional knowledge of plants and environments, including Indigenous foods, materials and medicines. Her two-volume book, Ancient pathways, ancestral knowledge: ethnobotany and ecological wisdom of Indigenous peoples of northwestern North America (McGill Queens University Press, 2014), represents an integration of her long term research. She has authored or co-authored or co-edited 19 other books, including “Keeping it living”: traditions of plant use and cultivation on the Northwest coast of North America. She has received a number of awards for her work, including the Richard Evans Schultes Award in Ethnobotany.
    [nturner [@] uvic.ca]
  • Doyle McKey is professor of ecology at the Université Montpellier 2 and is a senior member of the Institut Universitaire de France. He studies interactions between plants and animals, and between plants and humans, in tropical ecosystems. His widely cited work covers diverse topics including the interactions between plants and vertebrate frugivore seed-dispersers, the theory of plant defence against herbivores, the ecology of protective ant-plant mutualisms, plant evolution under domestication, chemical ecology of plant-human interactions, historical ecology and landscape domestication. The transdisciplinary approach he pursues has required forging collaborations with researchers in a great diversity of fields in natural and social sciences. He has published in over 70 different journals, including Science, PNAS, and Current Biology, as well as top journals in ecology, evolution, botany, agronomy, soil science, archaeology and anthropology. Research he led on the domestication of manioc by Amerindian farmers in South America has transformed our ideas about the evolution of clonally propagated crops. For the past six years, he has directed an interdisciplinary project on the ecology of seasonally flooded savannas. He first examined the ecological legacy of pre-Columbian raised-field agriculture in South American seasonal wetlands, showing how this ancient agricultural activity continues to condition the present-day functioning of these ecosystems. A second component of the project focuses on the ecology of mound-field landscapes of natural origin in seasonal wetlands, examining mechanisms leading to spatial regularity and identifying analogies, and possible interactions, between the functioning of these ecosystems and that of agricultural raised fields. A third component examines present-day raised-field farming systems in Africa. This work has demonstrated synergies between human engineering and the actions of natural “soil engineers”, and has shown that raised-field agriculture is but one component of a multi-activity system, and cannot be understood in isolation from other components of the system, notably floodplain fishing.
    [doyle.mckey [@] cefe.cnrs.fr]
  • Rupert Stasch has carried out fieldwork with Korowai of Papua since 1995, studying kinship, exchange, processes of representation, and primitivist tourism. He has taught at Reed College and University of California-San Diego, and is now a Lecturer in the Division of Social Anthropology at Cambridge University. He is the author of Society of others: kinship and mourning in a West Papuan place (University of California Press, 2009).
    [rs839 [@] cam.ac.uk]
  • Eduardo Kac is internationally recognized for his telepresence and bio art. A pioneer of telecommunications art in the pre-Web ‘80s, Eduardo Kac (pronounced “Katz”) emerged in the early ‘90s with his radical works combining telerobotics and living organisms. His visionary integration of robotics, biology and networking explores the fluidity of subject positions in the post-digital world. His work deals with issues that range from the mythopoetics of online experience (Uirapuru) to the cultural impact of biotechnology (Genesis); from the changing condition of memory in the digital age (Time Capsule) to distributed collective agency (Teleporting an Unknown State); from the problematic notion of the “exotic” (Rara Avis) to the creation of life and evolution (GFP Bunny). At the dawn of the twenty-first century Kac opened a new direction for contemporary art with his “transgenic art”–first with a groundbreaking piece entitled Genesis (1999), which included an “artist’s gene” he invented, and then with “GFP Bunny,” his fluorescent rabbit called Alba (2000). Kac’s work has been exhibited internationally at venues such as Exit Art and Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York; Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris; Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid; Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai; and Seoul Museum of Art, Korea. Kac's work has been showcased in biennials such as Yokohama Triennial, Japan, Biennial of the End of the World, Ushuaia, Argentina, Gwangju Biennale, Korea, Bienal de Sao Paulo, Brazil, and International Triennial of New Media Art, National Art Museum of China, Beijing. His work is part of the permanent collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Modern Art of Valencia, Spain, the ZKM Museum, Karlsruhe, Germany, and the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro, among others. Kac’s work has been featured both in contemporary art publications (Contemporary, Flash Art, Artforum, ARTnews, Kunstforum, Tema Celeste, Artpress, NY Arts Magazine), contemporary art books (Phaidon, Thames and Hudson, Oxford, MIT Press) and in the mass media (ABC, BBC, PBS, Le Monde, Boston Globe, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, New York Times). Kac has received many awards, including the Golden Nica Award, the most prestigious award in the field of media arts and the highest prize awarded by Ars Electronica. He lectures and publishes worldwide. His work is documented on the Web: http://www.ekac.org.
    [ekac [@] saic.edu]
  • Ludovic Coupaye est Lecturer au Département d’anthropologie d’University College London, où il a rejoint la section Material Culture Studies. Ses travaux entrecroisent l’anthropologie de l’art, des techniques et de la culture matérielle aussi bien francophone qu’anglophone. Son terrain de recherche privilégié est en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée. Il enseigne l’anthropologie et l’histoire des arts d’Océanie à l’Ecole du Louvre, et est l’un des coordinateurs du GRDI « Anthropologie et Histoire des Arts » du département de la recherche du musée du quai Branly, et du séminaire « Culture Matérielle » au même endroit. Il est notamment l’auteur de Growing artefacts, displaying relationships: yams, art and technology amongst the Nyamikum Abelam of Papua New Guinea (Berghahn Books, 2013).
    [l.coupaye [@] ucl.ac.uk]
  • Laura Rival is University Lecturer in the Anthropology of Nature, Society and Development at Oxford University. Her research interests include: Amerindian conceptualizations of nature and society; historical and political ecology; and indigenous peoples and development and conservation policies in Latin America. She has written several books and numerous papers on these topics, including Trekking through history: the Huaorani of Amazonian Ecuador (Columbia University Press, 2002), “Amazonian historical ecologies” (Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 2006), “Ecuador’s Yasuní-ITT initiative” (Ecological Economics, 2010), and “Encountering nature through fieldwork experiments: Indigenous knowledge, local creativity and modes of reasoning” (Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 2014). She has also edited The social life of trees: anthropological perspectives on tree symbolism (Berg, 1998), and co-edited Beyond the visible and the material: the Amerindianization of society in the work of Peter Rivière (Oxford University Press, 2001) and Governing the provision of ecosystem services (Springer, 2012). She is preparing a new book on Latin American agro-ecologies.
    [laura.rival [@] qeh.ox.ac.uk]
  • Joanna Radin received her PhD in History and Sociology of Science from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research examines the social and technical conditions of possibility for the systems of biomedicine and biotechnology that we live with today. She has particular interests in the history of biomedical technology, scientific collections, anthropology, public health, humanism, and research ethics. She is currently working on a book manuscript, tentatively titled Life on Ice: Frozen Blood and Biological Variation in a Genomic Age which tracks the rise of human tissue as a resource for remaking anthropology and population genetics after World War II.
    [joanna.radin [@] yale.edu]
  • Fabien Provost (Éditeur scientifique)