Manuel De Landa
The term ‘New Materialism’ was first discussed by Manuel deLanda and Rosi Braidotti- independently from each other- in 1999, the term was used within the cultural theory that does not privilege the side of culture, but focuses on what Donna Haraway (2003) would call “naturecultures”. This cultural theory radically rethinks the divisions so central to our post-modern way of thinking, the divisions between nature and culture, matter and mind and the human and the inhuman.
Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning
In her book Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning, Karen Barad, details an account of the world as a whole rather than as composed of separate natural and social realms. Barad presents intra-activity as a way to explain this, she defines intra-activity as inexhaustible progression where relations between space, time and matter are continuously re-figured. Through this notion she poses questions about how we previously considered the relations between nature and culture.
Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things
Jane Bennett argues that political theory needs to recognise the participation and role of non-human forces (things) in events. Through exploring how political analysis of public events might change if we were to take into consideration various configurations of human and non-human forces which are at play. Bennet presents ‘vital materiality’, as something that runs through and across all bodies-both human and non-human. She discusses the political and theoretical implications of 'vital materialism' through the examination of ‘things’ such as stem cells, electricity, metal and rubbish.
Monika Bakke was part of the panel discussion, Plant subjectivities, Assemblies and Assemblages, together with Kira O'Reilly, Laura Beloff and Jens Hauser at the 2016 HYBRID MATTERs Symposium. HYBRID MATTERs investigates hybrid ecologies, which is the convergence of our environment with technology and the transformation of our planet through human activity. In a hybrid ecology, biological actors such as humans, animals and plants share a world with machines, networks, as well as genetically altered organisms and other post-natural actors. The symposium was an exploration of these themes, there is documentation of the entire symposium and the panel discussion with Monika Bakke here.