Cycles of Dispositions–Unfoldings. A Retro-ANT View of Practices

Alvise Mattozzi

Abstract


The present contribution intends to probe a view of practices as cycles of disposition and unfoldings or, which is the same, of virtualities and actualizations, and to show how such view allows not only to take artifacts into account, but also to account for their contribution to the unfolding of practices. A specific practice, related to squeezing oranges in a sink by using Juicy Salif, the (in)famous Philippe Starck’s squeezer, is exploited as empirical ground for exemplification. In order to probe the proposed view of practices as cycles of disposition and unfoldings, the present contribution engages in an epistemological and in a methodological reflection. On the one hand, it investigates the role of dispositions-virtualities in past and present approaches to practices. On the other, it recovers the disused Actor-Network Theory’s notion of “script” as a way to describe-analyze artifacts’ dispositions or virtualities and thus accounting for their contribution to practices. In the end, the paper, by investigating the role of dispositions-virtualities, recovers the structuralist legacy to the reflection on practices, showing how Actor-Network Theory can be considered a “distributed structuralism”.

Keywords


Actor-Network Theory; Actualization; Design; Script; Structuralism; Virtuality

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DOI: 10.6092/issn.1971-8853/9483

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