Assemblage Constellation

Slack, J. D., & Wise, J. M., (2007). “Articulation and assemblage.” In Culture and technology: A primer. New York: Peter Lang.


Articulation, Assemblage, surveillance control, contingency


How to understand technology in terms of articulation and assemblage. Articulation and assemblage can be used to learn and examine technology. Articulation is drawn upon relations that make up the world. Assemblage draws attention to structure, affective nature and work of the articulations.


“Together they (articulation and assemblage) foreground the work of power on forging maintaining and altering the connections that constitute culture” (pg. 151–52).

“Culture is understood to consist of corresponding, non-corresponding and even contradictory practices, representations, experiences and affects” (pg. 152).

“An assemblage is a particular constellation of articulations that selects, draws together, stakes out and envelops a territory that exhibits some tenacity and effectivity” (pg. 157).


When it comes to articulation, it is a progressive change that develops overtime and is never permanent. Through articulation, it helps makes connections and construct unities among technologies…as evident in the opening example of surveillance video upgrades after 9/11.

Assemblage is a constant process of transformation that builds off the relations and experiences of the articulations. With assemblage, we are able to think about the technological culture in a greater context because it’s a conglomerate of practices, representations and experiences that make up the what we think and how we interact with technology. Slack and Wise note how assemblage is like a constellation that is brought together overtime.

When I think of how the articulation and assemblage works together, I tend to think of the development of Facebook. Facebook can be seen as an articulation because its something that’s contingent, in other words, subject to change in order to continually connect and maintain and unity overtime. Facebook has changed overtime because we have changed it. What started out as a site for college students to connect has developed into a world-wide tool to share pictured, news, etc.

We served as part of the assemblage that procured these changes and process of transformation among Facebook.

I can understand how assemblage makes us see the bigger picture when it comes to the technological culture due to the fact we are the ones that create and and continually transform it, like what we do and continue to do with Facebook.


What are some assemblages that have been an effective or not effective part in your life?