From Realpolitik to Dingpolitik – An Introduction to Making Things Public

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In Bruno Latour & Peter Weibel Making Things Public-Atmospheres of Democracy catalogue of the show at ZKM, MIT Press, 2005 [Publication of an earlier draft in Antinomies of Art and Culture: Modernity, Postmodernity, Contemporaneity, Terry Smith (Editor), Okwui Enwezor (Editor), Nancy Condee (Editors). Republication in New Critical Writings in Political Sociology edited by Alan Scott, Kate Nash and Anna Marie Smith, Ashgate Publishing, pp. 515-539, 2009]
(pdf of the out of print catalog)


Realpolitik turns out to be a very unrealistic version of politics. In effect, most of our political passions and interests are turned toward things –the oldEnglish and German Ding- that could be translated nowadays by ‘issues’. But in spite of this constant attention to things, political theory remained in a rather abstract level of opinions, positions, standing, problem solving and, ingeneral, discursive attitudes. The idea of the paper and thus of the show is to bring politics back to things and to see what happens when the variousassemblies in which things are shaped and decided are compared to thetraditional vocabulary of politics. The paper tries to present an overview of the catalogue by slowly shifting attention from objects to things .


2005: Allemand / German
«Von der Realpolitik zur Dingpolitik oder Wie man Dinge öffentlich macht » translated by Gustav Roßler (German translation as an independent pamphlet), Merve, Berlin, 2005

2005: Néerlandais / Dutch
« Van Realpolitik naar Dingpolitik. Over publieke dingen en de res publica », slightly abridged version translated by Peter-Paul Verbeek in Krisis, N°2, 2005, 40-61

2010: Coréen / Korean
translator: Sungook Hong Ingan, Samul, Dongmang «Humans, Things, Alliance», Seoul: Eum, 2010, pp. 261-304
Republié en fascicule indépendant par le Nam June Paik Center

2011: Italien / Italian
« Dingpolitik
- Come rendere le cose pubbliche »,
Journal: translated as an independent pamphlet in Postmedia Milan, 64pp., 2011

2016: Language: Spanish
Translator: Obed Frausto Gatica y Blanca Estela Carrillo Palma
Reference: « Da Realpolitik para Dingpolitik -ou como fazer as coisas públicas”
Journal: Journal Acta Sociológica, n°71, p. 13-60, 2016

2015: Czeck
Title: « Od realpolitik k Dingpolitik aneb Jak Prezentovat veci verejnosti »
Journal: Lapidarium, Atelier socharstvi, pp. 100-116

Language: Croatian
Translator:Iva Gjurkin
Reference: Misli na izložbi niz eksperimenata u ZKM-u iz Karlsruhea,
Date and page: 2017, pp. 79-150