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

Now that the basic topological properties of networks have been sketched -second section- and that the basic ontological features of actors have been outlined -section above- there is no difficulty in seeing that AT is not about traced networks by about a network-tracing activity. As I said above 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 AT 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.

We cannot say that what moves inside networks are informations, genes, cars, bytes, salutations, words, forces, opinions, claims, bodies, energy, etc. since AT also wants to reconstruct nets before there is any distinction between what circulates inside and what keep them on track, so to speak, from the outside. Again, as I said at the beginning, the technical metaphor of networks is a latecomer for AT and does not capture the tracing activity. No, what circulates has to be defined like the circulating object in semiotics of texts -especially scientific texts (Bastide, 199-). 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.

Bruno Latour: On actor-network theory. A few clarifications plus more than a few complications(1990, English version 1996)