Material Semiotics / Week 11 / 12-1-2021

John Law:
Humans, machine, don’t exist as categories. These images of nature, social groups, and forms of technology or description of what must be intelligent, organic, human, are ideas. Everything and anything can generate a form of identity. This is the idea of networking.

The concept involves questions such as how a group or identity comes into existence and is maintained.

In this endeavour we cannot help but think that in a world where there is no universal and well defined categories, we are replacing ‘a matter of fact’ with ‘a matter of concern’.

Replacing facts with ‘controversies about facts’.
Nothing is guaranteed by universal structures.
Everything and everybody is a type of idea and is productive in shaping the culture, in a way that makes the human and non-human on the same level.
There is a bias in which we assert how we regard the creation of scientific facts made valid. (machines and their role in culture).
How something is first constructed but it only becomes effective when the appropriates of webs have been put int place. Tell stories about ‘how’ relations assemble or don’t. The negotiation of untranslatable differences.

Feminist material semiotics asks:

What kind of differences we want to make? What matters? It matters what matters we use to think other matters with; It matters what stories we tell to tell other stories with.
(See Donna Haraway, “Tentacular Thinking,” in Staying with the Trouble, 2016)
Haraway “Situated Knowledges” 1988

There is no such thing as neutral language (objectivity) We are always participating, always invested
‘Embodied objectivity’
Karen Barad, “Diffraction”
Meeting the universe Halfway, 2007

Matter is what matters, what makes a difference Material-discursive practice/phenomena
Haraway’s “Tentucular Thinking”

Tentacle: “to feel” and “to try”
“Tentacles tangles me in SF. They entwine me in the poises, the making of speculative fabulation, science fiction, science fact, speculative feminism, soin de ficelle, so far.”
The tentacles make attachments and detachments;
Lindström & Stahl, “Working Patches”: Patchworks, Seams, and Cuts

Relational materialism in objects and storytelling
Partial connections, alliances, and separations
Processes of inclusion and exclusions
Choices made upon values that can be changed or questioned
What matters and why? Who is considered knowledgeable? Why? Which story we align with?