“the grid’s heart fluttered”


The image of a power grid serving as an example for an assemblage was strong for me.  I thought that it did a good job of prompting me to think about the ways several different factors are connected and that an immaterial force can act upon humans.  This unpredictablity even prompts people to “live off the grid”, to move out of the realm of “normal” society and feel self-sufficient (feel more in control of one’s life and functions).   This concepts touches on the idea of an ecosystem that we talked about in class last week.  Bennett even points out that this idea of interconnectivity has always existed in ecological thinking, but today we are further connected b/c of the “degree of infrastructural and technological complexity”.  No wonder, then, she makes the step towards moral accountability, which is not something I would have normally thought of when talking about agency.   I am not sure how I feel on the situation, whether or not humans can be fully responsible for events that happen, but that is because I am still unsure as to the equality of agency between humans and non-humans.


One Response to ““the grid’s heart fluttered””

  1. ginajae Says:

    i found that, on the one hand, the readings by bennett treads a lot of familiar ground conceptually to the discussions we have had to date. but with the notion of assemblages, it also edges ever closer to the work of latour and the actor-network theorists, as she bases her perspective on some alternate thinkers (thoreau, adorno, and of course, deleuze and guattari). of particular use to us, as proto-students of object-studies, is her attempt to delineate a methodology for her “naive realism” (onto-stories, onto-theories) for what it’s worth. interestingly, and in contrast to last week’s discussion of ingold, bennett appears to have dispensed with an attempt to simply spell out a definition of materiality, but still provides certain landmarks for what she things it might be. in addition to pointing out what materiality is not (i.e., the marxist notion), she initially appears to be pointing to materiality as the world of object-things, non-human, apart from us. and yet she also attempts to relate a notion of thing-power (which sounds an awful like our readings on the fetish) as means of paying more attention, giving a greater understanding, to the non-human, as well as the material in us.

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