title: Karen BARAD
subtitle: Intra-action & Entanglements

About the Author

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{: #sources .intro }

  • Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning., ISBN 13-978-0-8223-3901-4.


{: #entanglements }

There are no solutions; there is only the ongoing practice of being open and
alive to each meeting, each intra-action, so that we might use our ability to
respond, our responsibility, to help awaken, to breathe life into ever new
possibilities for living justly. The world and its possibilities for becoming
are remade in each meeting. How then shall we understand our role in helping
constitute who and what come to matter? How to understand what is entailed in
the practice of meeting that might help keep the possibility of justice alive
in a world that seems to thrive on death? How to be alive to each being’s
suffering, including those who have died and those not yet born? How to
disrupt patterns of thinking that see the past as finished and the future as
not ours or only ours? How to understand the matter of mattering, the nature
of matter, space, and time? These questions and concerns are not a luxury
made of esoteric musings. Mattering and its possibilities and impossibilities
for justice are integral parts of the universe in its becoming; an invitation
to live justly is written into the very matter of being. How to respond to
that invitation is as much a question about the nature of response and
responsibility as it about the nature of matter. The yearning for justice, a
yearning larger than any individual or sets of individuals, is the driving
force behind this work, which is therefore necessarily about our connections
and responsibilities to one another-that is, entanglements.
{: title=“Preface to Meeting the Universe Halfway” }


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Haraway does not take location to be about fixed position (though
unfortunately many readers who cite Haraway conflate her notion of “situated”
with the specification of one’s social location along a set of axes
referencing one’s identity). She reiterates this point in different ways
throughout her work. For example, in “Situated Knowledges” she writes:
“Feminist embodiment, then, is not about fixed location in a reified body,
female or otherwise, but about nodes in fields, inflections in orientations,
and responsibility for difference in material-semiotic fields of meaning.
Embodiment is significant prosthesis; objectivity cannot be about fixed
visions when what counts as an object is precisely what world history turns
out to be about.” Situated knowledge is not merely about knowing or seeing
from somewhere (as in having a perspective) but about taking account of how
the specific prosthetic embodiment of the technologically enhanced visualizing
apparatus matters to practices of knowing. And if her use of the “@” sign in
Modest_Witness can be understood as a mark of the specificity of location,
then we can conclude that location is not equivalent to the local, but neither
does the globality of the Net imply universality but rather points to its
distributed and layered nature (1997, 121): “The ‘@’ and ‘.’ are the title’s
chief signifiers of the Net. An ordinary e-mail address specifies where the
addressee is in a highly capitalized, transnationally sustained, machine
language-mediated communications network that gives byte to the euphemisms of
the ‘global village.’ Dependent upon a densely distributed array of local and
regional nodes, e-mail is one of a powerful set of recent technologies that
materially produce what is so blithely called ‘global culture.’ E-mail is one
of the passage points — both distributed and obligatory — through
which identities ebb and flow in the Net of technoscience” (Haraway 1997, 4;
italics mine). Location, for Haraway, may be about the specification ofwhere
the addressee is in the Net, but the Net is not fixed, and neither are
identities or spacetime. Though Haraway doesn’t seem to go as far in making
the ontological points I want to emphasize here, in both accounts it seems
that while location cannot be about occupying a fixed position, it may be
usefully (con)figured as specific connectivity. See chapter 4 on the agential
realist conception of objectivity not as a view from somewhere but as a matter
of accountability to marks on bodies. Objectivity is not solely an
epistemological matter (a matter of seeing, albeit specifically embodied
sight) but an ontological (ontoepistemological) one.
{: title=“Ib.id. Footnote 45 of Chapter 8, Ontology, Intra-Activity, Ethics” }

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