HAU

From Latour to late industrialism

Kim Fortun

Abstract


I situate Latour’s latest project—An Inquiry into Modes of Existence (AIME)—in the context of late industrialism and query both its conceptual underpinnings and the design of its digital platform. I argue that Latour’s semiotics (and associated conceptions of both networks and ontologies) are functionalist in a way that mimics industrial logic, discounting both the production of hierarchical differentiation within a given system, and the system’s externalizations. The approach thus underestimates the toxicity of its vitalism.

Keywords


disaster, environment, feminist theory, postcolonial theory, science, semiotics

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14318/hau4.1.017