In Into the Big World we experience a world where everything is observed, named, categorised and therefore domesticated. We become acquainted with different species, subspecies, families, genera and taxonomies. We get to know all the plants on the Island of Jamaica, the 24 species of short-tailed crabs in the Red Sea and the hermaphrodite aquatic plant known as water-lily. Gradually however knowledge becomes more complex as the world does not longer present itself as a stable unity but instead as a system where everything is connected to everything.
Into the Big World places the eighteenth century encyclopedic project as the seed of Modernity. A worldview where the world was seen as a whole that needed to be known through all its aspects and conquered; a time away from the obscure dogmas of religion and autocracy towards the lights of knowledge, positive sciences and democracy. Where has this worldview brought us? Can we still observe the world from a distance, when we are its main agents of transformation?
read into the big world by Saskia Monschouwer