26 Jan

Networked Proximity – Section 3

This post on I d e a n t is worth reading.  Ulises Mejias has posted another section of his dissertation on networked proximity.  His concerns are very close to mine (I’m thrilled that he’ll be coming to Emerson to speak at one our Floating Points events) He’s investigating the relationship between the human and (what Latour calls) the non-human actors in social networks.  In this bit, he updates Engeström’s characterization of social networks as object-centered.  He prefers the term object-oriented because, as he argues, the action is central to network behavior, not the object.  Good point.  But I think this can even be further complicated, in that even actions become objects in networks.  Consider Facebook’s documentation of simple actions.  Changing a picture or updating a profile (actions, all) become objects to be circulated within networks.  Objects, including actions and their human actors, are in fact at the center of social networks.  So maybe it’s right to say object-centered, because as networks grow more complex, the reach and scope of objects grows.

Link: i d e a n t: Networked Proximity – Section 3.

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