The George Floyd video catalyzed a big bang that snowballed a scalar phenomenon, transcending institutional and national boundaries. Understanding how digital artefacts, like the Floyd video, trigger big bangs requires a theoretical lens that foregrounds materiality in the becoming of phenomena at scale. We concur with criticism that sociomateriality, with its focus on material-discursive practice, provides insufficient support in the study of scalar phenomena and propose assemblage thinking - inspired by Deleuze and Guattari - as an alternate theoretical lens. Through an empirical analysis of the Floyd big bang, we argue that when an assemblage is the point of departure for analysis, researchers uncover unexpected connections beyond every-day practices that scale digital phenomena. And we present five conceptual devices – assemblages as concepts, events as encounters, lines of flight, plane of immanence, and rhizomes and trees – to equip scholars with a vocabulary to study scalar phenomena beyond practice-based approaches.
Patel, Shama; Baiyere, Abayomi; and Johnsen, Christian Garmaan, "BEYOND PRACTICE: ASSEMBLAGE THINKING IN SOCIOMATERIALITY RESEARCH" (2022). ECIS 2022 Research Papers. 108.
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