[-empyre-] networked self and the netopticon

Simon Biggs s.biggs at eca.ac.uk
Mon Jan 31 10:15:49 EST 2011

Networks of agency can be regarded as a social ontology. The most
significant qualities of such networks are those concerned with people
bringing themselves and others into being through making and exchanging
things, including (especially) making and exchanging one another. This is
both (necessarily) a collective and individual undertaking. One cannot exist
without the other. In this context I use the word agency for the same reason
as Latour, which is that it allows a discussion of how things effect and
affect one another without having to get involved in metaphysical
discussions concerning human existence. It expands the field of what can be
an agent. As James Leach observes in Creative Land, a drum can be a "man",
with agency equal to that of other members of the community, including
humans. Drums can be born and have children. They can be killed. When a drum
is damaged the community considers it murder.



On 30/01/2011 22:13, "Heidi May" <mayh at ecuad.ca> wrote:

> Would you say than that the experience - the process of engagement,
> the learning and becoming - is what is most significant with works
> that contain networks of agency? And, if you are able to, can you
> expand even more on "networks of agency"? Can we understand networks
> of agency both on a local level (the immediate relations/comments
> between the form, the idea, the artist, the participant) as well as on
> a global level (sociocultural issues)? I like the phrase but wonder if
> you have thought more about the choice of the word agency... People
> are using this word in relation to social research, which is why I
> wonder about when "art" becomes social research.

Simon Biggs
simon at littlepig.org.uk

s.biggs at eca.ac.uk

Edinburgh College of Art (eca) is a charity registered in Scotland, number SC009201

More information about the empyre mailing list