I am on a student's journey. Years ago I traveled across the US, and over the last year I have traveled through Europe: Germany, Estonia, Portugal, Poland, Austria, and Spain. My body has moved through space. I am in a graduate program that takes me to these countries, working with faculty in different cities, and producing many architectural projects.
My mind too has gone on a kind of journey. This journey may have not been as visually observable or prescribed by the graduate program. However, my mind has taken highways, flights, trains, and paths. I have explored many directions. I have tested ideas. I have met new philosophies.
Today I reflect on paths and journeys because I have recently finished Bruno Latour's Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network Theory.
Over the last year my writing and theorization of architecture has become more and more politically radical. However, with Actor-Network Theory, I begin to see the possibility of an empirical sociological study that strives for objectivity through the relativity of one's work. Perhaps we should all be a bit more humble with our sociological statements and just document the world and social relations around us.
I expect to deploy insights from Actor-Network Theory in much of my upcoming work. Today I want to just present one line to you.
We should turn at a right angle, leave the freeways, and choose instead to walk through a tiny path not much wider than a donkey's trail. (171)
I guess we should set aside manifestos and radical passion for a minute and start working like ants to reassembling what we are really criticizing. With that excitement, I guess we could use a little focus – step by step – on this donkey's trail.