Motility and agency through and in making things

Reading a book

Thinking Through Things. Theorising Artefacts Ethnographically.
Edited by Amiria Henare, Martin Holbraad and Sari Wastell. Routledge,

to think of our bricolabs network as a network of people and things:

and am delving into Alfred Gell’s theory of Art and Agency.

Having tried to steer away from it, I’ve come to a point where spirituality and the motile qualities of the shaman become essential to the kind of change to overall generic infrastructures we are planning.

Introduction: thinking through things. Amaria Henare, Martin Holbraad
and Sari Wastell. ( p. 1- 32)

Argument: from ethnographic revelations to political revelations

“Even scholars dedicated to re-integrating materiality and culture in response to the Riversian (and earlier Cartesian) segregation continue to struggle with theoretical lanhuages that presume an a priori dinstinction between persons and things, matter and meaning, representation and reality. Like the modish notion of ‘ hybridity’ the impetus towards reconnection turns on the presumption of initial separation.”

“The distinction between concepts and things ( which broadly compasses other familiar dichotomies such as sense versus reference, signified vs signifier, etc.) may be unhelpful, obnscuring theoretical possibilities that might arise were the pre-emption of such contrasts by the artefacts we study taken seriously.”

“With purposeful naïveté, the aim of this method is to take ‘things’ encountered in the field as they present themselves, rather than immediately assuming that they signify, represent, or stand for something else.”

“Motility is a biological term which refers to the ability to move spontaneously and independently. It can apply to either single-celled or multicellular organisms.” (