Damn that Actor Network Theory.

As soon as I position my eye to the eyepiece, we start interacting. It’s the visible machine that I touch with anxiety, fearing a sudden loss of data or fatal error that I may cause with a press of a button on the screen or a kick of a leg of the tripod. I feel some disappointment when I have to tell Sev “No, can’t shoot,” especially since he is trekking in the heat with the rod, but his “Let’s not worry about it,” reassures me.  I persist in stalking my target—the prism on the rod that sometimes makes me trip out when I see the reflection of the total station on its face. The machine mediates my vision, and my behavior accommodates to its presence and its function through instructions I recite in my head as I work with it: avoid the tripod legs, make sure the crosshairs align with the prism, avoid tripod legs, aim, press F2, avoid tripod legs, vocalize triumph of the shoot (“Got it!”), press F3 to record, avoid tripod legs, and repeat. I fear kicking a tripod leg. Can you imagine? All that work (which I did not do) to set it up, and then, ‘I’ kick it with my dirty hiking boot, causing some massive, destructive imbalance…Anyway, I do not know much about the total station, and this makes it a particularly pleasant experience to work with it.  I admit I get a bit dramatic with the total station, but that is quite fitting…it’s one of the many conversations with objects on this trip.

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