Things Are Not to Blame: Technical Agency and Thing Theory in the Age of Internet of Things

Bunz, M. 2015. Things Are Not to Blame: Technical Agency and Thing Theory in the Age of Internet of Things. in: Chun, W., Watkins Fisher, A. and Keenan, T. (ed.) New Media, Old Media: A History and Theory Reader London Routledge. pp. 388-400

Chapter titleThings Are Not to Blame: Technical Agency and Thing Theory in the Age of Internet of Things
AuthorsBunz, M.
EditorsChun, W., Watkins Fisher, A. and Keenan, T.
Abstract

The things have woken up: Everyday objects that were formerly passive have started to communicate. Driverless cars have started to enter the streets; besides phones, also glasses and watches have become "smart"; and toothbrushes leak our dental hygiene habits to our dentist. The Internet of Things is becoming real. Having noticed a certain discontent with the new smartness of things, this chapter is looking at the agency of technical objects rereading Martin Heidegger's take on "things", Bruno Latour's take on "nonhumans" and Gilbert Simondon's take on "technical objects" to find a surprising conclusion: It is not that the smart objects takes over human agency, but that too many humans with diverging interests inhabit one and the same technical object.

KeywordsInternet of Things, thing theory, agency, Gilbert Simondon
Book titleNew Media, Old Media: A History and Theory Reader
Page range388-400
Year2015
PublisherRoutledge
Publication dates
Published21 Sep 2015
Place of publicationLondon
ISBN9781138021105

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