How can we show the multiplicity of living beings that make up our common world? How can we account for their art of living? The Terra Forma project (Frédérique Aït-Touati, Alexandra Arènes, Axelle Grégoire) and the book of the same name (B42, 2019; in English : MIT Press, 2021) endeavor to use cartography as a tool to rethink our relationship with the territories, and to shed light on what is invented in the interstices, in the soil, and sometimes in the ruins. By creating a dialogue between the long history of maps and the contemporary Earth System Sciences, Frédérique Aït-Touati will share the graphic tools she has deployed with the architects Alexandra Arènes and Axelle Grégoire in an attempt to rethink our representations of the world and of living beings.
Frédérique Aït-Touati is a historian of science and literature, a theatre director, and a CNRS Research Fellow at the EHESS in Paris. Her interests include early modern literature, astronomy, and the sciences of the Earth, from the seventeenth through the twenty first centuries, including cartography, cosmography, and ecology/environmentalism. She has published Fictions of the Cosmos (Chicago University Press, 2011, MLA Prize), Contes de la Lune, essai sur la fiction et la science modernes (Gallimard, 2011), Histoires et savoirs (2012), Le Monde en images (2015), and Terra Forma, manuel de cartographies potentielles (2019). Before joining the CNRS, she was a Fellow at the University of Oxford (2007-2014). She is the current director of the Experimental Programme in Political Arts (SPEAP) founded by Bruno Latour. With Latour and her theatre company Zone Critique, she has created plays and performances, including Gaia Global Circus, The Theatre of Negotiations, INSIDE, and Moving Earths, which have been on tour around the world.