International Studies in Phenomenology and Philosophy

Journal | Volume | Article


Look, no hands!

the image as mediation and cure for scientific fetishism

Arianne Conty

pp. 151-176


Philosopher of science Bruno Latour defines the image as “any sign, work of art, inscription or painting serving as a mediation to reach something else.” According to this definition, mediation could very well be a synonym for image. In this article, I would like to use Latour’s work to argue for the crucial role that images play in overcoming a certain modern worldview that has divided the world into ontological essences that separate subject and object, nature and culture. It is precisely the erasure of the mediations, the images that connect these different forms of life together, that has led to the positing of the modern constitution of autonomous essences, cut off from the many agencies that give them life. Using the art installations of artist Tomas Saraceno, this article will show that it is precisely this mediating role of art that lends it such an interdisciplinary and phenomenological role in allowing the invisible webs connecting earth and sky, nature and culture, human and non-human, to be seen.

Publication details

Published in:

Stone Richard, Morisato Takeshi (2019) Mediation. Metodo 7 (2).

Pages: 151-176

Full citation:

Conty Arianne (2019) „Look, no hands!: the image as mediation and cure for scientific fetishism“. Metodo 7 (2), 151–176.