Upon reading The World Wide Web by Tim Berners-Lee et al, I was struck by how incredibly far the internet has developed over the past 22 years. Since 1994, the internet has become far more than the basic text and link framework; it has evolved exponentially into an immense network of connections. It has become a platform which allows access to boundless knowledge, whether it be textual information or multimedia. The immersive nature of it, can make it addictive as a drug, as one can engross themselves in cultures radically different from their own, all with the click of a button. It is this simplicity of action, which makes browsing the world wide web, so compulsively addictive. As people, we strive to expand our minds on a daily basis, seeking to better ourselves and the world around us.


Jane Bennett in her philosophical book, Vibrant Matter, urges the reader to similarly “expand their mind” through her theory that all matter in life, is full of life or in her terms, has “thing-power”. We like to think that we live separate from the objects we create and the land and environment we exist in yet Bennett indicates that everything is connected by a thread of life. The inanimate objects we use as tools serve no function without us, just as we are unable to perform at times, without them. Applying this logic to everything that surrounds us creates an atmosphere that is lively, even in a lifeless setting.

Whilst Bennett drew connections between the inanimate and animate, Teresa Bernnan, in The Transmission of Affect, proposes that “there is no secure distinction between the “individual” and the “environment”” – that we are affected and influenced by our surroundings directly through the energies which exist in our universe. It is a difficult concept to understand as “no one really knows how it happens”, yet according to Bernnan, we experience it every day in our lives.

There are many energies within our universe that may seem intangible, but with the advancement of technologies and greater understanding of ourselves and our environment, we may possibly begin to comprehend what it is, that connects us to the world around. The internet has become a medium which allows us to experience both of Bernnan and Bennet’s explorations of atmosphere in a very real way. Virtual reality for instance, can now transport us locations and environments seemingly unreachable. The intangible, is becoming tangible, just as we are beginning to better understand the complex world we live in.

In my ecology, whichever of the three it may be, I hope to explore the dynamic energies of  a location and capture its complexity. The world is honestly such an amazing place and I don’t think that we spend enough time marvelling in its beauty. It deserves to be documented. I look forward to digitally projecting my explorations of the notions of “affect” and “thing-power” in my ecology.

Let’s get moving!


-Jake Quan

~ by jakequan on February 8, 2016.

4 Responses to “Intangibility”

  1. I like your writing style and the use of gifs which really add to your thoughts.

  2. Style: Given that I found the Lee reading slightly bland in comparison to the other readings this week, I think you did an excellent job reanimating the importance of this piece. Your placements of GIFs was really effective in this sense because it kept my eyes moving and WANTING to read more despite my initial take on the reading itself. Also, your references back to both Bennett and Bernnan and the idea of transference of energy were helpful in splitting your post up and creating a nice pace for reading.

  3. I enjoyed this post for it’s substance. You draw upon the readings in an eloquent way that make sense for the points you are trying to make. Your ecology topics/ interests seem very interesting and something definitely worth looking deeply into. Thinking about the “dynamic energies of a location” is something I had never thought of before..

  4. Content: You display a great understanding of the readings through this post, especially from the get-go of your introduction, you touch upon and reflection on the readings in a very informative and understandable way.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: