Zoznamujem sa bližšie s teóriou siete agentov (actor-network theory),
Bruno Latour v 1997 reagoval na rôzne nedorozumenia, ktoré ju bežne sprevádzajú.
Pokus o komentovaný výcuc:
Najprv vyvracia tri časté nedorozumenia, ku ktorým dochádza
keď sa sieť chápe ako metafora (1) počítačovej siete, inokedy ako
(2) sociálnej siete, alebo (3) ak sa v sieti skúma "éter"
mimo jej uzlov a spojení.
(1) "computer network is [..] not the basic metaphor of an actor-network.
A technical network in the engineer's sense is only one of the possible final
and stabilized state of an actor-network. An actor-network may lack all
the characteristics of a technical network - it may be local, it may have
no compulsory paths, no strategically positioned nodes."
(2) "ANT has very little to do with the study of social networks [..]
it aims at describing also the very nature of societies, but to do so it
does not limit itself to human individual actors but extend the word actor
to non-human, non individual entities. [..] Instead of thinking in terms of
surfaces -two dimension- or spheres -three dimension- one is asked to think
in terms of nodes that have as many dimensions as they have connections. As
a first approximation, the ANT claims that modern societies cannot be
described without recognizing them as having a fibrous, thread-like, wiry,
stringy, ropy, capillary character that is never captured by the notions of
levels, layers, territories, spheres, categories, structure, systems. [..]
ANT has been developed by students of science and technology and
their claim is that it is utterly impossible to understand what holds the
society together without reinjecting in its fabric the facts manufactured by
natural and social sciences and the artefacts designed by engineers. As a
second approximation, ANT is thus the claim that the only way to achieve
this reinjection of the things into our understanding of the social fabrics
is through a network-like ontology and social theory."
(3) "ANT is a simple material resistance
argument. Strength does not come from concentration, purity and unity, but
from dissemination, heterogeneity and the careful plaiting of weak ties.
[..] Universality or order are not the rule
but the exceptions that have to be accounted for. [..] Literally there is nothing
but networks, there is nothing in between them, or, to use a metaphor from
the history of physics, there is no aether in which the networks should be
Latour v ANT odmieta (1) geografické ponímanie vzdialenosti (pólovanie far/close),
ďalej (2) rozlišovanie makro- a mikro- pohľadov sociálnej teórie (ktoré vykresľujú
spoločnosť ako top-down/bottom-up poriadok; small scale/large scale), a nakoniec
(3) separovanie vnútra a vonkajšku (inside/outside).
(1) "[ANT] gets rid of 'the tyranny of distance' or proximity. Elements which
are close when disconnected may be infinitely remote if their connections are
analyzed; conversely, elements which would appear as infinitely distant may
be close when their connections are brought back into the picture."
(2) "the notion of network allows us to dissolve the
micro- macro- distinction that has plagued social theory from its inception.
The whole metaphor of scales going from the individual, to the nation state,
through family, extended kin, groups, institutions etc. is replaced by a
metaphor of connections. A network is never bigger than another one, it is
simply longer or more intensely connected. [..] Instead of having to
chose between the local and the global view, the notion of network allows us
to think of a global entity -a highly connected one- which remains
nevertheless continuously local... Instead of opposing the individual level
to the mass, or the agency to the structure, we simply follow how a given
element becomes strategic through the number of connections it commands and
how does it lose its importance when losing its connections."
(3) "A surface has an inside and an outside separated by a boundary. A network
is all boundary without inside and outside. [..] we are no longer obliged
to fill in the space in between the connections [..] A network is a positive
notion which does not need negativity to be understood. It has no shadow."
(1+2+3) "network allows us to get rid of spatial dimensions far/close, big/small
[up/down, local/global] and inside/outside. They are replaced by associations and
connections (which ANT does not have to qualify as being either social or natural
Ďalej ostro odmieta sploštené chápanie siete ako prostredia silného "actora"
(väčšinou muža), ktorý koncetruje moc a vytvára si sieť spojencov, aby ju rozširoval
"An 'actor' in ANT is a semiotic definition -an actant-, that is, something that
acts or to which activity is granted by others. It implies no special motivation
of human individual actors, nor of humans in general. An actant can literally
be anything provided it is granted to be the source of an action."
Čo teda ANT robí? Latour:
"So what is on [ANT's] agenda? The attribution of human, unhuman, nonhuman,
inhuman, characteristics; the distribution of properties among these
entities; the connections established between them; the circulation entailed
by these attributions, distributions and connections; the transformation of
those attributions, distributions and connections, of the many elements that
circulates and of the few ways through which they are sent."
"ANT makes use of some of the simplest properties of nets and then add to it
an actor that does some work; the addition of such an ontological ingredient
deeply modifies it."
Latour obšírnejšie opisuje, ako 'actora' ANT vzala zo sémiotiky vďaka
lingvistickému obratu (1960s), a zhŕňa to:
"building on the semiotic turn, ANT first brackets out society and nature to
consider only meaning-productions [or discourse, or text]; then breaking with
the limits of semiotics without losing its tool box, it grants activity to
the semiotic actors turning them into a new ontological hybrid, world making
entities; by doing such a counter-copernican revolution it builds a completely
empty frame for describing how any entity builds its world."
"there is not a net and an actor laying down the net, but there is an actor
whose definition of the world outlines, traces, delineate, limn, describe,
shadow forth, inscroll, file, list, record, mark, or tag a trajectory that
is called a network. No net exists independently of the very act of tracing
it, and no tracing is done by an actor exterior to the net. A network is
not a thing but the recorded movement of a thing. The questions ANT addresses
have now changed. It is not longer whether a net is representation or a
thing, a part of society or a part of discourse or a part of nature, but
what moves and how this movement is recorded."
Čo je teda tým aktorom, ktorý pohybom vytvára sieť? Ako možno postihnúť aktora?
Aké ma vlastnosti, čo o ňom môžeme povedať?
"We cannot say that what moves inside networks are informations, genes, cars,
bytes, salutations, words, forces, opinions, claims, bodies, energy, etc. [..]
what circulates has to be defined like the circulating object
in semiotics of texts [..]. It is defined by the competence it is endowed with,
the trials it undergoes, the performances it is allowed to display,
the associations it is made to bear upon, the sanctions it receives,
the background in which it is circulating, etc. Its isotopy -that is its
persistence in time and space- is not a property of its essence but
the result of the decisions taken through the narrative programs and
the narrative paths."
Tento aktor sa pohybuje na základe toho, čo mu robia ostatní aktori
(teda nie je poháňaný výhradne spoločnosťou, prírodou alebo textom) :
"these categories [society, nature, text] are themselves part of the many
trials, and events, and ressources that are used along the paths to
attribute 'textuality' or 'sociality' or 'naturality' to this or that actor.
They are part of what is distributed not part of what makes the
Preto nemožno povedať, že pohyb aktora je výhradne naratívnou trasou, ani že je
výlučne silou, energiou, či kultúrnym génom, ani špecifickým spoločenským záujmom
"If chosing words for the network-tracing activity has to be done,
quasi-objects (Serres, 1987) or tokens might be the best candidate so far.
It is crucial for the definition of the term that what circulates and what
makes the circulation be both co-determined and transformed. [..]
As a rule a quasi-object should be thought of as a moving actant that
transforms those which do the moving because they transform the moving object.
When the token remains stable or when the movers are kept intact, these are
exceptional circumstances which have to be accounted for."
"another feature forbids any confusion of ANT with human centered,
or language-centered, or praxis-centered models. As a rule, what is doing
the moving and what is moved have no specific homogeneous morphism.
They can be anthropo-morphic, but also zoo-morphic, phusi-morphic, logo-morphic,
techno-morphic, ideo-morphic, that is '(x)-morphic'."