My understanding of the term ‘Actants’ comes mostly from Bruno Latour’s, Technology is Society Made Durable,  where his initial engagement with the reader describes a  scenario of  European hotels displaying notices to remind patrons to return their room keys on leaving and the unsuccessfulness of the signs working.  To rectify this they attached ‘large cumbersome weights’ on the room keys. Subsequently the patrons can’t wait to rid themselves of these burdensome objects.

I am not trying to understand Latour’s idea as a whole and its associative theory’s more conclusively as it may prove to be a counterproductive discourse as it delves into his ‘ANT’ theory [Actor-Network Theory], societal networks, agency and human/nonhuman actants.  It is not my aim to get caught up in the term ‘Actant’ or any of the terms associated with sociology but only to become better informed about the learnings of human behaviour.

What my line of investigation pursues is my own belief that objects are active and play a vital part in what humans do and how I can use this to encourage particular actions/reactions from the viewers of my own work.

My current line of inquiry is about realigning my research development with where it started some 10 years ago. Initially, the idea of my work being interactive stemmed from an interest in human behaviour and associatively, anthropology theories around human behaviour and the role objects play within material culture.

Image: Zoe Walker-Holt

This image from Cometspace’s: Offcut project documents the capability of my works presentation strategy informing certain actions/movements from the viewer.  Generally, a gallery’s exhibitions initiate particular types of movement and engagement with the body. Te Uru’s architecture disrupts this with its angles and viewing platforms. I intent to play with this idea of subtly disrupting expected bodily actions and engagement within a particular space through the presentation of my work.

Last week, Neke, Nadene and I visited Te Uru to consider what spaces may work for us individually. Already reasonably familiar with the space, I took my camera with the aim of documenting different angles and perspectives within the complex architecture of this magnificent building and in turn where this could lead to best reflecting my work.


Image: Sarah Walker-Holt

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