Week 5) Theory, archive and the archive fever

According to the oxford dictionaries, theory is “a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained”. To simply put, theory is ideas, concepts or assumptions about how things work.


Due to the development of technology, it has allowed us to be globally connected to the world. This can result global communication, hence circulating vast information, facts, opinions and even theories to be argues and to be agreed worldwide since theories are not a dead set answers and not always accurate.


Now let’s look at the theory of archives and archive fever. First of all, according to the lecture slides, archives are ways of organizing events/things/media/ so that we can put our theories to work with events/things/stuff, using various “methods”. The author of ‘Archive Fever’, Jacques Derrida, delivers that archives are a foundation for authority by having an ability to determine what is “inside” and “outside”.


The three crucial points of archive is that first, media construct & destroy archives. For example, hash tagging is a new way of archiving things, but in a way we can divide contents into categories so that people can archive things of only what they are interested in. New forms of archive can destroy original media and can create a new activity such as hash tagging. Secondly, archives are the basis for society, such as institutions, and a sense of belonging in lives. We live in a day where we often connect with the world through Internet. On the Internet, different platforms and mediums of archiving is happening and people often feel connected and a sense of belonging when they find a common interest or a collection of archive. This can create a new society of people to gather and share and create their archives. Lastly, Archives form authority and shape the future. This means that information and data archived can have a significant impact and can change or impact our current society. For example On ABC online, there is an article/page about ‘beating the odds’, which mentions about the western suburb part of the Sydney’s reality. They showed a map clearly illustrating the problematic reality of some particular area. These kinds of archive can raise awareness to the broad generals and can change and shape out society into a more positive side.

 스크린샷 2014-08-29 1.00.13 PM 






week 4) Actor-Networked Theory

Today, I will be talking about how series of “assemblages” (Deleuze, Guattari and DeLanda) create something new and one way of doing this is through the Actor-Network Theory by a French thinker Bruno Latour.

According to the Wikipedia, the ANT can be described as a “material-semiotic” method; which means that it creates relations that is “simultaneously material (between things) and semiotic (between concepts). Also, from one of the reading, it explains that the “ANT describes human and nonhuman “actants” (the preferred term of ANT writers, since “actor” is mostly used to talk about the roles of humans) with the same language, and grants them equal amount of agency within “webs” or “actor-networks”. (Banks, 2011)

As this video mentions, ANT theory is based on this 3 principles, which are agnosticism, generalized symmetry and free association. This video describes that there are no distinction between technological, natural and social.

I personally think that one of the examples of assemblages that we can find today is the Social Network Service such as Facebook or tweeter. The components that create the SNS are combined with numerous actants such as the web, the Internet provider, technological support, the computer, electricity, most mainly the users, the SNS headquarters, advertisers and sponsors and also the data. All these elements are combined and shown as a single object, such as the Facebook page or Tweeter page on online.

However, one of the readings mentions that this theory is facing some criticism by Sandra Harding, by excluding some basic social factors such as race, gender and social class…etc. Even though the theory is not perfect and have some flaws, I personally believe that it is a good theory to analyze and explain the assemblages of publishing, since it allowed us to think in a way that what creates a specific object of publishing that we might think it as a single platform.

Banks, David (2011) ‘A Brief Summary of Actor-Network Theory’, Cyborgology, November 2, <http://thesocietypages.org/cyborgology/2011/12/02/a-brief-summary-of-actor-network-theory/>

‘Actor Network Theory’, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actor-network_theory>

delukie (2009) ’Actor-Network Theory in Plain English’, Youtube.com,


2) week 3 – paper vs. digital publishing

Some people might say that digital publishing is a positive and futuristic movement for the publishing industry. Digital publishing has allowed anyone to have a voice, and speak up for his or her point of view. Nowadays, we call it the Citizen journalists. There are also cost effective when publishing books digitally compared to paper books. However, others might say that due to the growth of digital publishing, there are numerous concerns being raised.

This week’s topic personally made me think about which publishing method I use more. I personally own a blog, not a professional one, just for keeping memories, my thoughts and personal opinions. Like myself, there are numerous online bloggers today and it is still increasing. They are free to post, share and express what they want and there are no boundaries. However, this can be a serious problem in terms of controlling the contents. Since the World Wide Web is globally shared and people can access from anywhere at anytime, the fact that there are no international law to control this can later on cause a massive chaos.

I agree with the fact that the online news are comparably up-to-date and have a fast rotation. However, I am not too sure about the quality of the contents. Often, news agencies are urge to release exclusive news before than any other agencies does. As a result, some agencies tend to release without double-checking the facts. Furthermore, even though online reading such as e-book readers are convenient and have lots of advantages, I still appreciate the actual experience of reading the book, flipping the papers. Since the hard copy book doesn’t have a battery life, I do not need to worry about charging or lacking of battery.

There are several more issues that could be raised such as employment issues in the publishing industry, regulations in news journalisms, and authorship…etc. In my opinion, I think paper industry should make their own special strategies that would differentiate them distinctively from the digital publishing to survive in future. For example, make the book more environmental friendly in order to appeal to smart consumers and adapt to the new business model of book shop being a social space, rather than just a retail selling books. They can open events and activities that online cannot provide.


1) week 2 blogging

Due to the development of technology, 21st century publishing industry has now faced a new era of the world of online publishing. In the past, publics would generally think of publishing as a creation of books, where factories print out hard copy books to distribute to bookstores or where newspapers are printed out for the daily readers. However, today, i personally believe that the meaning of publishing is gradually shifting more towards the digital publishing, such as online publishing via numerous mediums. More towards the future, the traditional publishing industry, that is publishing hard copies of serious reading books will fade out, disappear soon or have a narrow level of audiences. 

In the past, publishing can be described as simply duplicating numerous images and words via printers. The creation of numerous types of printers has allowed publishing industry to provide hard copy books, newspapers and other contents to vast readers. However, current publishing industries are using new medium to deliver contents to the audience, which is by the medium of technology. Advance technology has allowed not only publishers, but also the audiences to create, generate and actively distribute various contents on online. This change has allowed us to exchange contents globally, without the limitation of time and space. Due to this, the contents are becoming more creative with numerous voices from different people from all around the world. 

As Will Self (2014) mentioned in the Guardians, I also believe that in future, the original publishing, which is serious readings and hard copy contents will be treated as a “traditional”, or “classical” activity. More and more people will post ideas and opinions on their own blog, website, or any social networking medium. Today and in the future, audiences will now actively publish and generate their contents without any gatekeepers, allowing freedom of voice. 


Will Self, 2 May 2014, The Novel is Dead (This time It’s Real), The Guardian, 7 August 2014, <http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/may/02/will-self-novel-dead-literary-fiction&gt;