Dialectic Psychometry

This project is made by:

  • Artist: Valérie Delahaye, Student Vakoverschrijdend Atelier SLAC/Beeldende Kunst

PiLoT1-SETAC expo


Dialectic Psychometry – an exercise

Why are humans treating the environment as ambiguous as they are dealing with their own human nature, feelings and values? A small animal, named Daphne Magna, is used within the scientific research domain of environmental sustainability to measure the damage. On this microscopic measuring standard the ambiguity of human behaviour is studied in the form of a few verses, chosen from a dialectic allegory, used as a reference in this very domain, Dante Alighieri’s Inferno.

The Daphne Magna is undergoing a transformation, only through human eyes and actions, while Dante is representing the human, and Vergilius is guiding him by philosophy, out of the circles of hell.

Ma vienne omai, ché già tiene ‘l confine

d’ amendue li emisperi e tocca l’onda

sotto Sobilia Caino e le spine;


But come now, because Cain and the thorns are already impounding

the border area of both hemispheres en the water is running underneath Sevilla;

E già iernotte fu la luna tonda:

ben ten de‘ ricordar, ché non ti nocque

alcuna volta per la selva fonda”

and already yesterday night the moon was full (round):

remember this well, because she (the moon)

has not hurt you once in the deep forest”

Si mi parlava, e andavamo introcque. 

This is what he told me, and meanwhile we continued.

CANTO XX, 126-130


Source: “Het Inferno van Dante”, Dr. Rogier Eikeboom, Stichting Panta Menei, 2009, Davidsfonds Uitgeverij

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