Thinking with Eyes and Hands… and Ears

Do I Have Power? from Danielle Leduc on Vimeo.

What is thinking? My guess is that it involves sounds, images, moods, and a whole lot of practices, as much as it does words, concepts and written texts. Thinking with eyes and hands, as Bruno Latour has put it. And ears. There’s a case to be made that in the great inventory of research methods a place be found for the humble scrap book. I clip pictures, collect maps, take photos, not always knowing at the time what these various objects might be used for. And a place be found for films as well. Do I Have Power? is a short film produced by Danielle Leduc. (The full credits for the music and clips are posted on Danielle’s Vimeo page.) It was originally made to show at the launch party for my book Governmentality, and Bruce Curtis’s Ruling by Schooling Quebec. Danielle took some of the bits and pieces I had collected and artfully wove them together with a whole lot of material she found herself. She set this hybrid assembly to music. I especially like the moving bubble graphs at the start. They are based on GDP time series and similar population data. Such tools are increasingly favoured by organizations like the World Bank to visualize the performance of national economies (see Set to Beach House’s Lazuli, and spliced with Sim City, they take on an almost magical quality, a kind of biopolitical choreography of nations. Is the intelligibility of population – certainly a key concept for governmentality – not changed in some small way once we have witnessed this dance of the populations?

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