Posts Tagged ‘assemblage’

The Michael Jackson Assemblage

29 June 2009

In Reassembling the Social,  Bruno Latour identifies “accidents, breakdowns and strikes” as one type of the privileged occasions when the agency of objects becomes visible: “all of a sudden, completely silent intermediaries become full-blown mediators; even objects, which a minute before appeared fully automatic, autonomous, and devoid of human agents, are now made of crowds of frantically moving humans with heavy equipment” (p. 81). This article from The Independent gives an interesting account of the “heavy equipment,” the socio-material assemblage that was in place to support the performance of Michael Jackson (and specifically the planned 50 performances in London), which was suddenly brought to light by the star’s untimely passing. As the assemblage not only had failed to accomplish its aim but might have also contributed to the tragedy, its composition has become a central focus of the investigation that is currently unfolding.

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Recording of Graham Harman’s talk on Manuel DeLanda

28 November 2008

A recording of Graham Harman’s ANTHEM seminar talk at the LSE yesterday, entitled “Assemblages According to Manuel DeLanda,” and the discussion that followed, is available here (1 hr 47 min). A PDF file of the PowerPoint slides can be downloaded from here.

Harman evaluated the ontological assumptions behind DeLanda’s realism, his notion of assemblage and his theory of causation, by tracing their origins in Deleuze and Bhaskar, among others. He then contrasted DeLanda’s ontology with that of Bruno Latour and concluded by presenting his own object-orientated approach to thinking about causation, objects, and emergence.

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Assemblages According to Manuel DeLanda

24 November 2008

As announced earlier,  we are expecting Graham Harman to join us at Thursday’s ANTHEM seminar. Dr Harman has also very kindly agreed to give us a talk, accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation, in order to summarise but also expand on the main points of the paper (“The Assemblage Theory of Society”) that he has shared with us. The title of his talk is “Assemblages According to Manuel DeLanda.” The main themes are realism, causation, emergence, assemblages, essence, DeLanda, Deleuze, Bhaskar, Latour, and Harman’s own (Heideggerian) object-orientated philosophy.

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ANTHEM session: Graham Harman on assemblage theory

20 November 2008

The ANTHEM group will be meeting from 4 to 7pm on Thursday 27 November 2008 at the London School of Economics and Political Science. We will be discussing a recent paper by Graham Harman, entitled “The Assemblage Theory of Society,” which examines the philosophical assumptions behind Manuel DeLanda’s Deleuzian assemblage theory, while contrasting it with the ontology of Bruno Latour. The main themes of the paper are realism, assemblage, essence, and emergence. We also expect Graham Harman to join us at some point (assuming his flight arrives on time).

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Repetition and difference in organizing over time and space

13 November 2008

The title of the 2010 EGOS call for sub-theme proposals sounds remarkably Deleuzian. Could it be just a co-incidence that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the publication of Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition? The call for proposals speaks of repetition and difference, the emerge of new organisational forms, the problem of the micro and the macro, globalisation, and the role of technology. The deadline for the submission of sub-theme proposals is 15 January 2009.

It would be interesting to have a track or two with specifically Deleuzian themes, e.g. with a focus on repetition and difference vis-a-vis routines and innovation, or on the Deleuzian notion of the assemblage in organising. The similarities and differences between the Deleuzian assemblage theory of Manuel DeLanda and the evocation of assemblages in Science and Technology Studies and economic sociology could make another interesting platform for discussion. We reproduce the call below in full, in case the link gets broken during the current overhaul of the EGOS website.

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Harman on DeLanda’s ontology: assemblage and realism

12 September 2008

Thank you to Nick at Speculative Heresy for alerting us to the online publication of Graham Harman’s article “DeLanda’s Ontology: Assemblage and Realism” in Continental Philosophy Review. Actually several of us from ANTHEM were at Goldsmiths on 20th April 2007 when Harman delivered the earlier version of this paper, which back then was entitled “Networks and Assemblages: The Rebirth of Things in Latour and DeLanda.” DeLanda and Latour were already an intriguing juxtaposition, and when the figure of Heidegger and the fourfold emerged, we knew that we were entering interesting territory. At the end of the Goldsmiths session Harman gave one of us the hard copy of his paper, which set off a series of events culminating in The Harman Review in February 2008.