Monday, 2 July 2012

Latour and Systems Aesthetics

"FH: Ah agency. Well in just reading you talking about Gaia it seems that if there was any form of agency in relation to your account of what we might call a “democracy of objects” or “thing politics” then that agency would have to come from us understanding ourselves as thoroughly embedded in sorts of networks. Like ants or something perhaps.

BL: "Well, systems and networks have a different sort of feel.
 BL "[The emergence of] System was a great moment in trying to reorganise multiplicity. I mean to order the masses of new stuff [that is, the novelty of modernity] one comes up with the idea that you could actually connect boxes and then link them up in a system. In Sociology we see this with Luhmann [and his Systems Theory]. Networks are very, very different metaphors where, I mean by metaphor an aesthetics of proof. The multiplicity of connections in a network, that is the heterogeneity of a connection, is vastly greater than in system."

Bruno Latour in conversation with Francis Halsall

I'm pleased to say that the whole conversation is to be published soon. 

I'm fascinated by this idea of metaphor as an aesthetics of proof and how this is going to relate to Luhmann's own aesthetics; particularly as it pertains to a discussion of the emergence of, as Latour says, the systems of modernity.

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