“Agency is the relational and emergent property of material engagement. It is not something given but something realized. In short, as far as agency is concerned, what an entity is doesn’t really matter; what does matter is what the entity becomes and where it stands in the network of material engagement.” ~ Malafouris

Agency – the ability to change and be changed by things is fundamental to all forms of creative processes. But agency is not so straightforward a concept as it might first seem. Agency is not a property that one possesses or could come to possess. Agency is always the emergent property of a dynamic and integrated network. Systems, organizations and situated entangled individuals all have a contextual emergent agency.

We need to understand agency as an emergent property irreducible to any one thing. And that agency itself is a form of enabling constraint that emerges from the relations properties that parts come to have because of how they are integrated into a systematic whole. The important question from the perspective of creativity is, “When and how is agency constituted and manifest in the world?” ~ Malafouris.

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