Texts by Patrick Chamoiseau, Bernard Stiegler, Daniel Bougnoux, Yves Citton, Thanh Nghiem, Chris Younes, Jean Guibal, Olivier Frerot, André Micoud, Janek Sowa, Luc Gwiazdzinski, Henry Torgue.
Images by Maryvonne Arnaud, Sylvain Pauchet.

Disorientated! It’s the term we often use to describe the state of incomprehension into which we are plunged by disconcerting situations on a personal level as much as by the changing world in which we live.

There is an overwhelming feeling that stable points of reference which guarantee the correct and more or less permanent direction in a person’s life are vacillating and thrown into doubt. It’s a fact, the world is changing faster than human consciousness. Life’s certainties, family, work, religion, politics, the economy, and even money… are proving to have feet of clay. What will become of us when the points of reference which allow an individual to navigate and position himself are no longer anchored down? Is an era of no shared reference points viable?

You can see a double change: on the one hand a lost quest for beacons and mooring lines to anchor and reference our broken lives, or values that are being consumed as if by fire echoing frenetic consumerism; on the other hand,there is the fevered policing of the individual on a local level and of our day to day lives, trapped in a labrynth of computer passwords, where our every little action registers and is pinpointed on a rather alarming mysterious worldwide surveillance network.

To understand today’s reference points and the magnetic poles that work our compasses, this piece resonates with three ensembles: the regional localities which speak for themselves and bear witness to layers of history; the photography of Maryvonne Arnaud, providing visual commentary, bearing silent witness to reference points; followed by open reflection navigating three fundamentals: the place and its roots; objects, technology and science; language, tradition and meaning.

All these collaborations are a product of the “Workshop of the World”, a series of meetings arranged by Philippe Mouillon and supported by La Criée, the Centre for Contemporary Arts at Rennes. Philosophers, researchers, artists and poets debate freely these issues, building a “World Collective of Doubt” , trains of thought that are far from being doctrine and are more like a game – in both senses of the word: like a fun pastime and equally, a gentle relaxation, which keeps you mobile and active.

“There is no fundamental truth only fundamental errors. Truth is an error corrected.” wrote Gaston Bachelard. It’s with a view to “correct” that is the aim of this piece: to tease out nuances, to have an open mind to every piece of knowledge, ancient or alien, to become involved in the analysis of artistic vision and poetic intuition, in order to turn doubt into a point of reference.

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