By Jennifer Gabrys
From nutrients punnets to charge cards, plastic enables every thing of our day-by-day lives. It has develop into important to techniques of up to date socio-material dwelling. Universalised and abstracted, it's always handled because the passive item of political deliberations, or a complex fabric hard human administration. yet in what methods may a 'politics of plastics' care for either its particular manifestation specifically artefacts and occasions, and its advanced dispersed heterogeneity?
Accumulation explores the energy and complexity of plastic. This interdisciplinary assortment specializes in how the presence and recalcitrance of plastic finds the relational exchanges throughout human and artificial materialities. It captures multiplicity through enticing with the processual materialities or plasticity of plastic. via a chain of themed essays on plastic materialities, plastic economies, plastic our bodies and new articulations of plastic, the editors and bankruptcy authors study particular features of plastic in motion. How are a number of plastic realities enacted? What are their effects?
This booklet could be of curiosity to scholars and students of sociology, human and cultural geography, environmental stories, intake reviews, technology and know-how stories, layout, and political theory.
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Additional resources for Accumulation: The Material Politics of Plastic
The stuﬀ that dreams are made of Plasticity, the distinctive property of synthetic polymers, has permeated through culture. The French philosopher Roland Barthes (1971) devoted a few pages to plastics in his review of the mythologies of modernity. ‘Plastics’, he wrote, ‘are like a wonderful molecule indeﬁnitely changing’ (Barthes 1971: 171–72). Plastics are shapeless; they have pure potential for change and movement. They connote the magic of indeﬁnite metamorphoses to such a degree that they lose their substance, their materiality, to become virtual reality.
The success story of plastics, which combined the speciﬁc features of synthetic polymers and the markets in which they ﬂourished, deeply reconﬁgured consumer practices as well as those of design. Because plastics are objects of design, they are more than polymers. The classical terminology of polyethylene, polystyrene, polypropylene, phenol-formaldehyde and so on is not really adequate, since the properties and uses of plastics depend on plasticizers, ﬁllers, UV protectors and the like. The traditional classiﬁcations of materials become obsolete when plasticity is so highly praised that design embraces materials themselves.
Conclusion In following the migrations of the term ‘plastic’ from the realm of materials to the realm of humans and to nature throughout the twentieth century, this chapter has emphasized the interplay between materials and culture. From a view of nature as a stable, rigid order, our culture has shifted to a view of nature as plastic, versatile and based on the ever-changing arrangements of Plastics, materials, dematerialization 27 molecular agencies. The success story of plastics, which combined the speciﬁc features of synthetic polymers and the markets in which they ﬂourished, deeply reconﬁgured consumer practices as well as those of design.