Archive for October, 2013

ANT and Politics: Working in and on the World, Law&Singleton

31 October 2013

ANT and Politics: Working in and on the World, Law&Singleton


While it is possible to define ANT in a series of abstract bullet points to do so is to miss most of the point. Instead it explores and theorises the world through rich case studies. This means that, like symbolic interactionism, for ANT words are never enough: you need to practice it. In this paper we work empirically, drawing on an ANT-inflected ethnography of Norwegian salmon farming, and also dialogically. We do this because we want to show that for ANT theory is created, recreated, explored and tinkered with in particular research practices. Indeed, ANT is probably best understood as a sensibility, a set of empirical interferences in the world, a worldly practice, or a lively craft that cherishes the slow processes of knowing rather than immediately seeking results or closure. In particular it is sensible to materiality, relationality, heterogeneity, and process. At its best it understands itself as working in the world to create analytical contexts; but also on the world, to articulate and press particular contexts and their politics. As a part of this it explores the contingencies of power, generating tools to undo the inevitability of that power, while working on the assumption that other and better worlds are possible.


Latour’s honor being protested

31 October 2013

Installing (Social) Order



In an interesting essay from our friends at EASST (European Association for the Study of Science and Technology), documents a possible resurgence of the ‘science wars’ of yesteryear … at sitting in the cross-hairs is good old Bruno Latour, protested recipient of this year’s (2013’s) The Ludvig Holberg International Memorial Prize, or as some of you might know it, just the Holberg Prize. Check out the article; its free and interesting.

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Latour Invites Contributions to his AIME Project

30 October 2013
Dear AIME platform users,
Since last week all of the functionalities that we had planned to have fully functioning, function and in particular, the last column on the right ‘C’ for contributions. This column allows readers to become co-inquirers and gives meaning to the
whole Inquiry.
To accompany you in your role as a co-inquirer we have assembled a group of mediators who will edit, modify and expand upon and publish your contributions. Please click here to learn more about the members of the mediator team. 
Below, you will find the information that you need if you wish to contribute. Clicking on this link will take you to a tutorial that will guide you through the most common difficulties co-inquirers face when starting out.
 Having resolved most of the technical issues (of which a few remain but nothing too terrible) we can now get back to the
heart of our inquiry and are delighted to count you among our potential co-inquirers.
 On behalf of the team,
Bruno Latour
What is a contribution?
Contributions are absolutely necessary to the success of the survey. All relevant contributions will be incorporated into the final versions – paper and digital – with each time, an acknowledgement of the author.
We cannot extract ourselves from our current difficulties unless we work together. We seek to share the research experience and as such we are very open. However, we only do so according to very specific protocols and rather demanding expectations and as such, we remain very closed! If we dare to maintain this paradox it is only because experience is sharable and because the protocols that are so strictly adhered to render themselves a source of concern and open to debate. In the meantime, metalanguage becomes entirely ‘disposable’.
 1. A contribution is a not a comment. It is not enough to simply ‘like’ or ‘not like’. Nor is it like editing a wiki or reviewing. A contribution works in such a way that it subjects the Inquiry to the trials for which it was designed.
 2. A contribution is an operation. It is a maneuver attempted during a diplomatic game. It is a practice that is both informed and free, operating within the intellectual machinery of the Inquiry. The co-inquirer can reformulate, complete and apply but he or she can also correct, test and protest. In every instance, it remains with the context of an empirical investigation.
 3. Inasmuch as it is possible each contribution should attempt to build upon something new and be in the form of an annotated document that develops an argument or line of thought. The role of the mediators is to direct the work behind the contribution towards those beings that are less well represented.
4. The process of selecting contributions is performed with the mediators always keeping an eye towards the final phase of the Inquiry where the diplomatic operations and face-to-face rewriting sessions will take place. In this respect, the online platform serves as a kind of draft or preparatory document for these final meetings.
To find out more about the Inquiry into the Modes of Existence, please go to: 
The AIME team

Genealogies of Anxiety and Wonder, Genevieve Bell

30 October 2013

Accelerated Change and the Need for a Global Anthropology,Thomas Hylland Eriksen

29 October 2013

“In this theory seminar, Thomas Hylland Eriksen presents his new research project, which combines studies of globalization and anthropology. He shows how the processes of globalization now allows comparative anthropological studies across different continents. He argues that “overheating” is an apt metaphor for understanding global crises, discusses the need for shared ‘traffic rules’ and looks at three important problem areas within transnational policy making.”

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Earthly Poison Howard Caygill on Pharmakon

29 October 2013

apparently these folks have decided not to allow sites like ours to share the work here with you but you can find it @:

The Semantic Web – Wendy Hall

28 October 2013

Improvisation as a Way of Life by George E. Lewis

28 October 2013

“Reflections on Human Interaction:
Many musical improvisers have understood their sounds and practices as addressing larger questions of identity and social organization, as well as creating politically inflected, critically imbued aesthetic spaces. Following a 1964 suggestion by Alfred Schutz that a study of the social relationships connected with the musical process may lead to some insights valid for many other forms of social intercourse, the realization that improvisation is not limited to the artistic domain, but is a ubiquitous aspect of everyday life, can lead humanists and scientists toward new models of intelligibility, agency, ethics, technology, and social transformation.”

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Evil Media: Matthew Fuller, Andrew Goffey & Eyal Weizman

27 October 2013
see also:

Alien Phenomenology, or What It’s Like to Be a Thing by Ian Bogost

26 October 2013

Alien Phenomenology, or What It’s Like to Be a Thing by Ian Bogost

“It is a list, a catalogue, a community of things. It is also a kind of travelogue, a “Latour litany” that maps some of the objects populating Ian Bogost’s beautifully written and wonderfully stimulating new book, Alien Phenomenology, or What It’s Like to Be a Thing (University of Minnesota Press, 2012). Opening with a piece of a They Might Be Giants song and ending with a part of a poem by Charles Bukowski, Bogost’s book introduces readers to the field of object-oriented ontology by asking us to consider a fundamental question: why do we ignore “stuff” in scholarship, poetry, science, or business as anything more than a way to continue talking about humans? Is there a way to think and live with stuff in the world that doesn’t reduce it to that which concerns people, but instead considers and lives with it on its own terms? Alien Phenomenology helps us explore this question and understand the stakes of the problem in five chapters that each introduce a key concept informing a discussion of the being of objects in our world: “tiny ontology” as a model for thinking with things, ontography as a means of mapping them as parts and wholes, metaphorism as a way of getting at the experiences of nonhumans, carpentry as a philosophical practice, and wonder. Though it will be of special interest to readers with an interest in literature, philosophy, and the humanities, the book itself speaks beyond any single disciplinary frame. From the perspective of science studies or STS, it offers a way of moving with and beyond the language of Actor-Network Theory and “agency” of the non-human world, potentially helping us to reframe our questions about objects and the narratives of science, medicine, technology, and modernity in innovative ways” -Carla Nappi