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Heath, prelude to tracing the actor as network

Critical Writing
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2010
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Traversing a variety of digital and print formats, this critical prelude introduces the possibilities of tracing the networked associations enacted in Heath by Tan Lin. The writing explores Actor-Network-Theory across platforms, considering Heath both as an actor-network in ANT terms and a coterminous mode of sociological accounting. Like ANT, Heath attempts a process of demystification through detailed description, tactical citation, assemblage, and the critical deployment of mediators and their relations, where every actor is understood as network. More directly, this paper traces the ways Heath translates diverse mediators from the digital event (the non-events) of Heath Ledger's death into an actor-network exploiting a material book format. Thus the task of the critic is to crunch the details of these manifold relations as they are situated in Heath — to describe the network enacted through Lin's ambient citations and novelistic formulations.

(Source: Author's abstract)

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Scott Rettberg