“An actant is a source of action that can be either human or nonhuman; it is that which has efficacy, can do things, has sufficient coherence to make a difference, produce effects, alter the course of events.” Latour
Edibles, commodities, storms, fabrics. They are actants with trajectories and tendencies of their own. Matter, Jane Bennet puts it, is vibrant. Things have the ability to make things happen, to produce effects. We are co-becoming with our things. The material that surrounds us, that we have, that we see, that we come in touch with. It does not simply exist. It affects us.
If we don’t let ourselves get affected by things, we over-consume, we purchase and dispose, we don’t give it a second thought. We buy ever-increasing numbers of products in ever-shorter cycles. We are not materialists. We are anti-materialists.
Nothing can ever really be thrown away. Things continue their thingness beyond our use, even if discarded or unwanted.
For a transition towards the Ecocene, we need to become materialists.