[NetBehaviour] inter - intra - action, and then the Chthulucene

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Thu Feb 16 21:57:09 CET 2017

Dear Annie

you did (before you sent the long post today, which I could not read yet) make me think, go to your blog,
and I managed to watch the theory video you had suggested to us. Thanks. You even transcribed it, and I sense you have reasons for liking Barad's terminology, though Ruth expressed some reservations or cautions.

I suppose, if you wanted more debate,  I could agree with your sense of how we are entangled with assemblages, and how things (I glanced at a recent book by Jane Bennett, Vibrant Matter:  A Political Ecology of Things, 2010)
emerge, collaboratively, how there are these strange concatenation of stuff, and how maybe these are not so distinguishable from performances and what we think we do when we intend and carry out. The interconnectedness and the machinic I like, and all the recent interest in matter and materialism, very nice.

I suppose as with all new theory vernaculars, they on occasion sound sexy (body without organs, reterritorialization, folds –  you remember those), and then they get repeated and cited, but I think agency has now been
used for a while, and we can let it be, no?  "Agency art" does not convince me, as I also did not, as you imply, take "any technology or medium as  starting point [of what? .of the agency?].  When you invite me to
participate in Distant Feeling, I did so as a performer, not a secret agent, nor as a laptop. yes, we came together, there were relations. There were interactions too, and they did not deflect responsibility, as Barad claims. 

As to the agents and such, imagine a new word i now had to learn today from reading about Donna Haraway's latest thing:  the Chthulucene !
(I think it's her critique of the hype of the Anthropocene).

And today, on the empyre list, someone from the US suggested we live in the "Trump era."  
That was news to me, I think eras take longer to arise and then be defined in retrospect after a strong and lasting impact they may have made in some areas or corner of the globe. 

with regards
Johannes Birringer


On 13/02/17 09:55, Annie Abrahams wrote:
Hi netbehaviourists,

Interaction was the word I used 20 years ago when I talked about my work in hypertext. Today I need other words: one word, I already wrote about it in my last post, is Agency Art. Another might be Intra-action. This word could be usefull to analyze my works of collaborative performance art, where it is not really clear what is causing what, where the agency is – not between clearly distinguisable entities, but coming from within a whole, where server conditions, individual computers, webcam and sound devices, as well as the voices and images of the co-performers, local light conditions and family situations are all entangled in what Barad would call the phenomenon.
>From https://aabrahams.wordpress.com/2017/02/06/inter-intra-action-eng/

I am not done with these yet. Somewhere soon hopefully something more concrete on Agency Art and maybe Bohrian Apparatusses.

All the best

I like the concept of Agency Art because it doesn’t take any technology or medium as it’s starting point, but puts what these make possible in the foreground.

J’aime beaucoup la notion d'Agency Art, parce que elle ne prend pas un medium, ou une technologie comme point de départ, mais met en avant ce que celles-ci rendent possible.

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