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Black Boxes a la Bruno Latour

journal contribution
posted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Anita Milroy
The following works are culminations of material and textual contemplations, of and on, knowledge and knowing. Philosopher Bruno Latour is credited as a key contributor to an object oriented philosophy (Harman, 2009). Within this philosophy, all actants are ontologically equal (atoms, babies, jets, business meetings) and knowledge is described in terms of Black Boxes: To say that the world is made of black boxes is to say that is consists of numerous democratic levels – that there is no uniquely solid, durable substance lying in the basement of the world. Even a chaotic or multifarious actant can appear solid under the right circumstances, by the same token, any supposed black box can be unpacked, and its components rearranged or challenged. An actant is always born from crisis and controversy; only when it succeeds in establishing a foothold in the world do we forget the tribulations of its birth and eventually treat it as a seamless black box. It is easy to view a pebble on the beach as a black box to be collected or thrown, until a geologist teaches us the stress of volcanoes or sediments through which the pebble was slowly assembled. To speak of objects in action is to convert objects from black boxes into withering trials of strength, re-enacting the torrid events that gave birth to the most obvious facts in the world. (Harman, 2009: 34-36)

History

Issue

2015

Start Page

11

End Page

15

Number of Pages

5

Location

Brisbane, Australia

Publisher

Jewellers & Metalsmiths Group Australia (Queensland Chapter)

Language

en-aus

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

Era Eligible

  • Yes

Journal

Paillon : jewellers & metalsmiths group of Queensland.

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