We present some arguments why existing methods for representing agents fall short in applications crucial to artificial life. Using a thought experiment involving a fictitious dynamical systems model of the biosphere we argue that the metabolism, motility, and the concept of counterfactual variation should be compatible with any agent representation in dynamical systems. We then propose an information-theoretic notion of integrated spatiotemporal patterns which we believe can serve as the basic building block of an agent definition. We argue that these patterns are capable of solving the problems mentioned before. We also test this in some preliminary experiments.