BOOK LAUNCH 'Le soin des choses'/'The Care of Things' (La Découverte, 2022)

With authors Jérôme Denis (Mines Paris-PSL) et David Pontille (CNRS/Mines Paris-PSL)
Convened by Perig Pitrou (MFO)

What do a boiler, a car, a signpost, a smartphone, a cathedral, a work of art, a satellite, a washing machine, a bridge, a clock, a computer server, the body of an illustrious statesman, and a tractor have in common? Almost nothing, except that none of these things, big or small, precious or banal, lasts without some maintenance. Every object wears out, deteriorates, eventually breaks down or even disappears. But do we really understand the importance of maintenance? As a counterpoint to the contemporary obsession with innovation, and less spectacular than the singular act of repair, this delicate art of making things last is rarely brought to our attention.
This book is an invitation to decentralise our gaze by putting maintenance and those who carry it out in the foreground. By following the thread of different stories, its authors describe the subtleties of “the care of things” to highlight the ethical stakes and the political significance.