Despite a thing’s thinginess and the world’s worldiness and the thing is a thing because it manifests thingness, Heidegger makes a very interesting point in his article “The Thing,” when he speaks of gathering. That what defines a thing is it’s gathering. Now i’m starting to sound like him. We have talked about networks with Latour, and others, and I have always been slightly upset by the fact that “yes, I understand about Networks, but how do I see them?” Where Heidegger points out that we see them all the time, and we even have a name for them: things. To call something a thing is to call it the “gathering” of a network. It is the network, bundled, and twisted into a shape we can perceive.
Heidegger speaks of nearness as not being related to the distance between oneself and an object, and he doesn’t provide, for me, then an adequate description of what he means by nearness. I think that nearness gathers, that is to say, when one experiences nearness, one is experiencing a gathering effect. To be near to something is to be part of it’s network, to be gathered into it. This is the process by which a hybrid is formed. Creating hybrids is then not the creation of some weird mutant form by forcing things together, but a process of gathering together to form a ‘thing.’ and it’s thinginess. (sorry, couldn’t help myself)