Despising agency

This means that we decline to answer the general question of whether entities like trees have ‘agency’ and are capable of normative or political action ‘in and of themselves’. Instead, we consider material participation as a specific mode of engagement, which can be distinguished by the fact that it deliberately deploys its surroundings, however widely these must be defined, and entails a particular division of roles among the entities involved – things, people, issues, settings, technologies, institutions and so on. Rather than concentrating on a secular version of the metaphysical question about causality – do non-humans have agency? – we then consider material participation as a specific phenomenon, in the enactment of which a range of entities all have roles to play.” Noortje Marres in Material Participation: Technology, the Environment and Everyday Publics.

…But this enactment is the materialization/actualization of a certain configuration of potentials, of agencies. If we despise that fact, if we decide not to go into that, we are turning a constant process of reconfiguration into a frozen final state. Reifying what is essentially processual.