How to do things in the Plasticene: Ontopolitics of plastics in Arendt, Barthes, and Massumi

Andrija Filipović


In this paper, I develop three models for understanding plastic in the Plasticene epoch through readings of Arendt, Barthes, and Massumi. In the Ardentian model, plastic is made intransitive. It is withdrawn so far into the background of human experience as that which enables social and individual life of humans that it becomes the unthinkable. It can be argued that it is pushed to the background and made intransitive because of a certain image of the human and cyclical image of nature. The second model is Barthesian, and in it plastic becomes a signifying matter understood through a semiotic model. Plastic and products of plastic become signifiers in the ideological work of discourse. In the Massumian model, plastic is affective; it is a relational body in the process of becoming, simultaneously intensive and multiple in its eventfulness.


Article received: April 30, 2020; Article accepted: May 30, 2020; Published online: October 15, 2020; Original scholarly paper

How to cite this ariticle: Filipović, Andrija. "How to do things in the Plasticene: Ontopolitics of plastics in Arendt, Barthes, and Massumi." AM Journal of Art and Media Studies 23 (2020): 91-101. doi: 10.25038/am.v0i23.399


Plasticene; plastic; ontopolitics; intransitivity; signification; affect.

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Publisher: Faculty of Media and Communications, Singidunum University, Belgrade, Serbia

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