"I’ve heard a lot of theories as to what object-oriented rhetoric (OOR) might be. One theory has it that object-oriented rhetoric is the investigation of the rhetoric of object-oriented ontology. This strikes me as a particularly stupid and uninteresting project as who cares about the rhetoric of object-oriented ontology? All this is, is an attempt to integrate the theses of OOO into a traditional correlationist framework and issues of persuasion through language. While I have no desire to dispense with the discoveries of figures like Burke and Aristotle, if OOR exists I think it’s up to something else. I don’t suggest that this post is exhaustive of what that 'something else' ought to be, but I do think that minimally if there is to be something like OOR, it will consist in breaking the bad habit of a focus on representation, persuasion, and identification, and will necessarily consist in drawing attention to the materiality of speech acts, communications, texts, and signifiers. It’s not that OOR, if it comes to exist, would give up on these things, but that it would become a little less representational, a little less 'decoding,' a little less interpretive, and far more material. It would become a little less focused on what things are about and the pathos, logos, and ethos that animates them, and a bit more focused on what texts are."
"Is it then reasonable to consider whether such pre-symbolic expressions operated rhetorically?... This is not about imaging a rhetoric without symbolic action but rather recasting symbols as objects among other objects in a flat ontology where the rock, the word 'rock,' the sound rock, rock music, the Rock, Plymouth Rock, and the Pink Panther are all real and rhetorical, with or without us to view them symbolically. The point is to recognize that objects need not be symbolic or in relation to us in order to operate rhetorically. What is at stake here is a symbol-independent expressive force whose effects cannot be articulated wholly in terms of physics, chemistry or other related fields. Instead it is a minimal rhetorical ontological capacity that allows objects to enter into rhetorical relations and is not solely available to humans."
"Within Delanda's (and Deleuze's) assemblage theory is a consideration of the 'collective assemblage of enunciation,' which is an investigation of expression.... Expression is a kind of exteriority (this would be contrary to conventional notions of 'personal expression'). It is a capacity of objects in relation. It is also its own thing, an object, an expression. It is also a force and a process, but all objects are also forces and processes. Expressions have the capacity to affect the objects with which they relate. This capacity cannot be reduced to physical, electrical, chemical, and/or neurological forces. That would be undermining, to use Harman's term. Expression requires those forces (as all assemblages do) just as my body requires relations on an atomic level. When objects encounter one another as expressions (in addition to encounter one another as physical forces), they are having a rhetorical encounter (or at least that's my version)."