“This imperative runs in opposition to the kind of precautionary principle that seeks to eliminate the contingency and risk involved in making decisions. […] In seeking to err always on the side of caution, and hence of eliminating risk, it contains a blindness to the dangers of inaction and omission. While risks need to be reasonably hedged, a fuller appreciation of the travails of contingency implies that we are usually not better off taking the precautionary path. The precautionary principle is designed to close off the future and eliminate contingency, when in fact the contingency of high-risk adventures is precisely what leads to a more open future – in the words of conceptual artist Jenny Holzer, ‘you live the surprise results of old plans’ (Survival series, 1983-85). Building the future means accepting the risk of unintended consequences and imperfect solutions. We may always be trapped, but at least we can escape into better traps.”
– WORK, Documents of Contemporary Art.
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