Intra-Action


title: intra-action
subtitle: I am because we are

About the Concept

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The neologism ‘intra-action’ signifies the mutual constitution of entangled
agencies. That is, in contrast to the usual ‘interaction,’ which assumes that
there are separate individual agencies that precede their interaction, the
notion of intra-action recognizes that distinct agencies do not precede, but
rather emerge through, their intra-action. It is important to note that the
‘distinct’ agencies are only distinct in a relational, not an absolute, sense,
that is, agencies are only distinct in relation to their mutual entanglement;
they don’t exist as individual elements.

Sources

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  • [Meeting the Universe Halfway][1]
  • [Interview Karen Barad][2]

[1]: /library/Karen BARAD - Meeting the Universe Halfway (2007).pdf
[2]: /library/Karen BARAD - Interview (Corfou 2011).pdf

Trans/materialities

I have taken to using the term trans/materialities, a term I offered up in my
talk to signal material intra-relatings and differences across, among, and
between genders, species, spaces, knowledges, sexualities, subjectivities, and
temporalities.

Diffraction Methodology

Developing diffraction as a methodology for me has been about that
ethico-onto-epistemological engagement, attending to differences and matters
of care in all their detail in order to creatively repattern world-making
practices with an eye to our indebtedness to the past and the future.

Geste

Le geste, c’est l’intension qui se déploie dans l’espace; parfois intentionnelle, toujours extensionnelle, elle accompagne l’acte comme l’ombre la forme et, selon l’éclairage, le précède; le con-naît, en provient.
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Intra-action is entangled

“Cutting Together-Apart.” is an expression frequently used by Karen Barad, for explaining iterative intra-action processes where any transformation is attached to all other processes across time and space. Intra-action rather than interaction signifies our entangleness not only that things are interdependent and that actions are relational, but really that things and people are built into one another in constant reconfiguration, and that actions are entangled in this process.

Considering the unity of reality that we objectivate by our actions and observations, intra-action is used rather than interaction to signify the place we act from in the always transforming relation to our situation. If assumed as an active process, it is crucial to the capacity to transform situations, action is understood as a momentum in the activation of our agencies. Intra-action is a notion developed by Karen Barad to communicate the emergence of agencies in an entangled process that is diffractively activated.

She explains that it is a crucial notion for ethics as it allows to envision diffractively the possible intra-action "And by the way, when I say “ethics” I don’t mean moralizing and so on and so forth, but rather an understanding of how values matter and get materialized, and the interconnectedness of ethics,
ontology, and epistemology. " Ethics is about understanding how values and matters
get materialized, making sure that the process are open enough so that people
can respond to them, looking at the aparatus of the experimentation difractively
accross time and situations, “as time and place like matter and meaning,
come into existence, they are iteratively reconfigured through each intra-action,
thereby making it impossible to differentiate in any absolute sense between
creation and renewal, beginning and returning, continuity and discontinuity,
here and there, past and future.”
She further explains that:

Developing diffraction as a methodology for me has been about that
ethico-onto-epistemological engagement, attending to differences and matters
of care in all their detail in order to creatively repattern world-making
practices with an eye to our indebtedness to the past and the future." and
"Dis/continuity is at the core of what I call agential separability. Agential
separability is a notion that cuts across the separate/not separate
binary. Agential separability is hugely important. It not only provides
important insights for physics (like its usefulness in solving the so-called
“measurement problem”), but also questions concerning the nature of
relationality more generally.

All intra-actions, extend the entanglements and responsibilities of which
one is a part.

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