Viveiros de Castro’s research on perspectivism belongs to the growing body of research that makes up the ontological turn in anthropology. In short, this is research that dissolve the notion of an objective, universal nature, and that distribute agency to both human and nonhuman actants. One of the most influential books on nonhuman agency is anthropologist Alfred Gell’s Art and Agency from 1998. Gell rejected that art had symbolic meaning whatsoever and stated:
“We [tend to] talk about object, using signs, but art objects are not, except in special cases, signs themselves, with ‘meanings’; and if they do have meanings, then they are part of language (i.e. graphic signs), not a separate ‘visual’ language. […] In place of symbolic communication, I place all emphasis on agency, intention, causation, result, and transformation.” (italics in original).
To Gell, the agency of art rests in the object itself. Gell investigates how art objects effects human behaviour; what they do. A clear parallel can be drawn to W.J.T. Mitchell who through the question “What do pictures want?” has given emphasis to art itself, not as conveying meaning, but as beings with desires, needs, and drives of their own.
 In short, objects (more specifically artworks) have the potential to operate outside human intentionality.
This is also the argument when ethnographer Annemarie Mol is studying the disease atherosclerosis in a European hospital.
 Mol shows how different practices create different realities, which again is not necessarily embedded in the human conceptualization of what constitutes reality. Reality multiplies through performativity. Mol argues that the things we take as settled, for instance scientifically quantifiable phenomena are not only a part of a one-layer world, rather, objects are always multiple. Furthermore, reality itself multiplies when we focus on artefacts or practices. Within this theoretical perspective Mol has developed the notion of ontological politics. She includes the notion of ‘politics’ to underline that the realities can actively be shaped by both human and nonhuman actors. Some realities may be strengthened while others are weakened (and/or disappear). It is a type of politics performed by subjects in direct material engagement with things, but without clear political intent. Mol shows how the real is made through different ontological practices. In fact, Mol describes how objects are both “more than one—but less than many.”  Objects are complex and multiple, but not fragmented. And even though they are multiple they also hang together. John Law points out that such multiplicity does not suggest that we live in a relativistic world: “It does not imply that reality is fragmented. Instead it implies something much more complex. It implies that the different realities overlap and interfere with one another. Their relations, partially coordinated, are complex and messy.”  As such, Mol and Law’s approaches overlaps with the notion of multiple realities found in different indigenous cosmologies.
Both an important prerequisite and inspiration for the ontological turn in anthropology is the development of actor-network theory (ANT), and the writings of one of its founders Bruno Latour.
 In ANT, the social world exists of both humans and nonhumans (where the nonhumans are objects, animals, and plants) which in turn, are connected. These relations thus form a network, or a rhizome : a dynamic immaterial structure where nothing starts and nothing ends: only connections and relations, in motion. The actors in ANT can be compared to knots in this complex rhizome and can be either human or nonhuman. Consequently, nonhumans are seen as active contributors that possess agency to act. Action is thus an effect of the relations in the network and all action must be considered relational. Under the headline “There are no cultures” Latour calls for a symmetrical anthropology which he defines as follows:
It uses the same terms to explain truths and errors (this is the first principle of symmetry); it studies the production of humans and nonhumans simultaneously (this is the principle of generalized symmetry); finally, it refrains from making any a priori declarations as to what might distinguish Westerners from Others.
The scholarly contribution to the ontological turn in anthropology has participated to challenge the Western notion of a stable and universal conception of reality. Furthermore, there can be several realities. Humans are not the ultimate power in the world: nonhumans are entities capable to act, and we need to take this seriously through our academic approaches.