Im entering this blog late only because I was very unhappy with my original entry for this week and after the tutorial I thought a was better concept-equipt to have an opinion on assemblage.
The readings for this week made ANT and assemblage, as concepts, seem a lot harder to grasp than they actually are.
I feel that Actor-Network Theory (ANT) is a good way to look at publishing, both its history and where it is today, and it helps to make sense of all the developments, shifts and progression in publishing.
The concept of ANT helped me clarify my thoughts and interpretations on the history of publishing and the manner in which it came to be what it is today. Although I already had this concept as a basic idea, it was different to think about non-human actants as having agency and a contribution effect on the state of publishing.
Although humans are ultimately responsible (i think) for the state that publishing is today, it is hard to imagine its progress without the aid of such things as the printing press, the computer, writing, the e-reader and many other similar media.
These technologies and media have a significant role in the publishing dynamic and have been integral in its development throughout the course of history.
It is through this that i was able to understand the idea of agency and equality between human and non-human actants.
There was one criticism levelled at ANT that did make me think.
The Wikipedia page on ANT suggests that the theory is at risk of becoming alike the six-degrees of separation theory in that everything can be connected eventually and everything can play a small role in the assemblage of one thing.
Me and my work-partner thought about this in the tute in relation to watching a DVD.
Obviously you need a DVD, a DVD player, a television and somewhere to watch. However, we also thought that you need someone to have and idea for a movie, actors to be in the movie, someone to direct the film, someone to make the television and the DVD player, production companies and alike to finance these activities, people to invest in said companies and also these people require the economic means to be able to invest.
Where does this chain end?
If there was to be an immeasurable number of actants involved in the assemblage of this scenario, do they all have equal importance?