Biennial Governmentality

Hyungmin Pai

The world does not belong to one person; it belongs to the whole world. The harmony of the Yin and Yang forces does not favor growth in only one species of thing, the sweet dews and seasonable rains are not partial to one thing, and so the ruler of the myriad people does not show favoritism toward a single individual. … Heaven and Earth are so great that while they give life they do not raise anything as their own, and while they bring things to completion they do not possess them. The myriad things all receive their blessings and obtain their benefits, but no one knows whence they first arose.

The Annals of Lü Buwei, 239 B.C.E.

Ecological crisis … is the slow and painful realization that there is no outside anymore. It means that none of the elements necessary to support life can be taken for granted. To live under a huge inflated Globe you need a powerful air-conditioning system and powerful pumps to keep it inflated. … So here is the question I wish to raise to designers: where are the visualization tools that allow the contradictory and controversial nature of matters of concern to be represented?[ii]

—Bruno Latour, “A Cautious Prometheus?: A Few Steps Toward a Philosophy of Design,” 2008

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[i] Lü Buwei, The Annals of Lü Buwei, trans. John Knoblock and Jeffery Riegel (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000), 71–73. At the time of its compilation, Lü Buwei was prime minister to the ruler of the state of Qin. He would later become the first emperor of a newly unified China. Lü retained a group of scholars whose aim was to encompass the world's knowledge in one great encyclopedia.
[ii] Bruno Latour, “A Cautious Prometheus?: A Few Steps Toward a Philosophy of Design with Special Attention to Peter Sloterdijk,” in Willem Schinkel and Liesbeth Noordegraaf-Eelens, eds., In Media Res: Peter Sloterdijk’s Spherological Poetics of Being (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2011), 159–163. The text is based on Latour’s keynote lecture for the Networks of Design meeting of the Design History Society Falmouth, Cornwall, 3 September 2008.
[iii] Tony Bennett, The Birth of the Museum: History, Theory, Politics (London: Routledge, 1995), 60–63.
[iv] “Directory of Biennials,” Biennial Foundation, http://www.biennialfoundation.org/home/biennial-map/, accessed 10 May 2017.
[v] Elena Filipovic, Marieke van Hal, and Solveig Ovstebo, The Biennial Reader (Bergen: Bergen Kunsthal, 2010), 14.
[vi] Cited in Benjamin I. Schwartz, The World of Thought in Ancient China (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1985), 358. Schwartz is in turn referring to the work of the Chinese scholars Hsu Fu-kuan and Li Te-yung.
[vii] The classic English text on late industrialization in Korea is Alice Amsden, Asia’s Next Giant: South Korea and Late Industrialization (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989). See also her more recent global discussion in The Rise of “The Rest”: Challenges to the West from Late-Industrializing Economies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001). For a more recent Korea-specific study, see Kim Yoon Tae, Bureaucrats and Entrepreneurs: The State and the Chaebol in Korea (Seoul: Jimoondang, 2008).
[viii] André Gorz, Strategy for Labor: A Radical Proposal (Boston: Beacon Press, 1967), 117.
[ixi] Bong Choi, Mook-Han Kim, and Jai-Ho Kim, Current State and Future Outlook of Geographical Concentrations of Small-sized Manufacturing Enterprises in Seoul (Seoul: Seoul Institute, 2014).
[x] Latour, “A Cautious Prometheus?,” 163.
[xi] Jacques Ranciere, The Politics of Aesthetics: The Distribution of the Sensible (London: Continuum, 2004), 15.
[xii] André Gorz, Reclaiming Work: Beyond the Wage-Based Society (Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 1999), 2.