Objects Without Us

When we stop talking about the object, does it disappear? Perhaps this is the moment when the object itself comes into existence; when we are taken out of the equation. And what for imagination? Perhaps the object has one. But what is ‘imagination’, other than a human word for something that humans experience themselves.
This is a conversation that took place between Jaspar Joseph Lester, Tony Hall, Gabriel Badamosi, Emma Cocker, Dale Holmes, Michelle Atherton, Amy Davies, Sharon Kivland, Lea Torp Nielsen, Julie Westerman, Andy Welland, Dave and another. It started at 4:15pm on 23rd March 2012, and is still going.
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Resisting ‘Inquisition’: The Object’s Right To Silence

“_____________________________”
The more they don’t speak the more we want to hear them. The more we yearn to know what they are saying behind our backs. This is a strategy, this dumbness. This is a considered non-participation in human chit-chat. But are they bugging us, tracing and tracking us? Sending information about us elsewhere?
This is sci-fi at its finest, but sci-fi is becoming reality everyday. The utilities of these objects are their disguises. Once they have a function, they can disappear.
This is a conversation that took place between Emma Cocker, Yang Jiwon, Amy Davies, Jos Boys, Matthew Harrison, Dale Holmes, Lea Torp Nielsen, Harriet Davies, Gary Simmonds, Julie Westerman and Ruth Wilde. It started at 2:45pm on march 23rd 2012, and is still going.
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Ventriloquising Objects

What have the chairs been saying as we have sat here sharing words of the possibility that humans will always speak in the place of objects? Like the ventriloquist throws words into the mouth of his dummy, can this be a metaphor for our everyday complacency for doing the same to the objects alongside us?  In the absence of humans, do objects consider themselves separate from each other?
This is a conversation that took place between Emma Cocker, Rose Martin, Amy Davies and Andy Welland. It was started at 5:00pm on 23rd march 2012, and is still going.
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Further Reading:
Conversation about urban objects

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Being An Object, Or Very Close To

And, What Is The Relationship Between Idea and Object. In particular, a discussion concerning the immaterial object of labour. Those who become object in public when doing mundane activities such as wiping tables, cleaning bollards, are becoming invisible. Is this invisibility where they want to be? My body is an object, if I say it is. So perhaps this invisibility need not be a negative condition; only when it is self chosen.
This is a conversation that took place between Richard Layzell, Gabriel Badamosi, Jasper Joseph Lester, Rose Martin, Fiona Candlin and Lucia Farinati. It started at 2:45pm on March 23rd 2012, and is still going.
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Ascribing Meaning To Objects: Superstition And Mental Health

Objects free you, objects tie you down: which do you believe? Your new shoes are on the table, the ladder is being walked underneath and that horseshoe is hanging the wrong way round. It’s all in the mind and in our cultures, yet it pushes our behaviour in peculiar directions. Objects are activated by narratives that are created surrounding them, and what happens when the objects are removed from the ideas? Don’t whatever you do, open that umbrella inside.
This is a conversation that took place between Alison Carlier, Richard Layzell, Amy Davies and Matthew Harrison. It started at 3:30pm on March 23rd 2012, and is still going.
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How Does An Object Relate To The Overall Topology Of The Space?

Exploring what constitutes atmosphere and how this unseen force emanates. Don’t you think there are spaces that already hold their own energy? Such as the UFO museum in New Mexico or the Museum of Witchcraft in Cornwall. You have to be there to feel it. You can’t feel it through the technology of the computer screen.
This is a conversation that took place between Robert Wallis, Richard Layzell, Karen David and Yang Jiwon. It started at 4:15pm on 23rd march 2012, and is still going.
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Fiona’s provocation
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Topology |təˈpäləjē|
Noun
1 Mathematics the study of geometric properties and spatial relations unaffected by the continuous change of shape or size of figures.
• A family of open subsets of an abstract space such that the union and the intersection of any two of them are members of the family, and that includes the space itself and the empty set.
2 The way in which constituent parts are interrelated or arranged : the topology of a computer network.

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Is It Okay For Objects To Have Trivial Meanings?

Nostalgic objects, objects that make you go “ahh”, objects that you can’t explain why but you succumb to their triviality, except simply…because. A PEZ dispenser. Grand Designs. A snow globe, the perfect trivial object. Trivial makes everything important. The fun-factor, the entertainment, the enjoyment, the non-importance we pull from these trivial things, to what impact on the object?
This is a conversation that took place between Jos Boys, Paul Wilson, Galen Riley, Emma Cocker, Jasper Joseph Lester, Dale Holmes, Lisa Watts, Harriet Davis and Ruth Wilde. It started at 3:30pm on March 23rd 2012, and is still going.
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Mediating/Investigating The Emotional Life Of The Object After The Death Of The Owner

Before we are able to enter language, objects bring us into contact with the world beyond our mother’s body. We use the same apparatus again to deal with a loss; we attach ourselves to their objects. But how can we choose what to keep and what to throw away? This is hard. This is why so many objects are being donated to museums. But do they have value, energy, life, beyond the emotions the donator feels of them? What counts as ‘dirt’ is subjective; Britney Spears’ chewing gum at auction anyone?
This is a conversation that took place between Rose Martin, Fiona Candlin, Julie Westerman, Andy Welland and Lea Torp Nielsen. It started at 3:30pm on 23rd march 2012, and is still going.
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Happy objects, Sad objects

How can it be that we find a human emotion with an object? Is this an energy inherent in the being of the object, or is it always going to be something we bring to it, that we place onto it? It is impossible to say, impossible to know, impossible to even compare the subjective feelings we feel of these objects. Is feeling knowledge? Is thought knowledge? How do you make sense of your senses?
This is a conversation that took place between Gary Simmonds and other participants (names not noted). It started at 5:00pm on 23rd March 2012, and is still going.
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Netting Objects: The Importance Of Rope And Stringing Things Together

“Objects are the clasps on the pockets of space” said Malcolm de Chazal. What do the lines between objects look like; can they be tied together with string or would that tie them down? In the process of mapping we erase what is there. Are objects what they are because of their connections? Hosted by Galen Riley.
This conversation has not yet started. Can you?
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Further Reading:
Sens-Plastique - Malcom de Chazal

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Making Objects Through Touch, But Not With The Hands

“Does an object have to exist in space or, if I talk about a tree that I saw (it was summertime, it was full in bloom) is that an object?”
This discussion discusses the intangible object, the object of language. Is this an object? Language is human, so how can this be of the object itself? Maybe our language is all we will ever know of these objects; an ever-shifting layer which blankets the object from us as we continue to talk over it.
This is a conversation that took place between Eugene Nyee Macki, Lisa Watts, Galen Riley and Andy Welland.
It started at 2:45pm on 23rd march 2012, and is still going.
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Objects In Fiction

Don’t let the truth get in the way of a great story. Imagined objects are snuffed out when they are realised by someone else in the film of the book. What is this dissatisfaction? We must hold pictures of objects in our minds akin to characters, and this failure to represent our own narratives means these objects must serve another purpose… are time machines involved?
This is a conversation that took place between Richard Layzell, Paul Wilson, Yang Jiwon, Michelle Atherton and Matthew Harrison. It started at 5:00pm on 23rd March 2012, and is still going.
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The Relationship Between Making An Object And Its Meaning

Is everything now so conceptual that we are forgetting what it feels to actually make something? David Hockney offers a relief to view his output in which there is more concern for making than meaning. And what of skills; they have had to reshape themselves as demand is for brands over high quality craftsmanship. We talk about aura…has the value of quality been subverted?
This is a conversation that took place between Jos Boys, Alison Carlier, Rose Martin and Eugene Nyee Macki,. It started at 4:15pm on March 23rd 2012, and is still going.
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Our Desire To Possess Objects

Unexplained human emotions drive you to gather, collect and care for multiple things. Or you despise objects cluttering and covering and invading your space. Or you gather and disperse in fluctuations of ownership. What does this trait say about you? What do these interactions reveal of your understanding of objects, or is it something deeper, more concerned with your age, stage in life and state of mind? Here we go again, using objects to make judgements about ourselves…
This is a conversation that took place between Julie Westerman, Fiona Candlin, Jos Boys, Gabriel Badamosi, Galen Riley, Eugene Nyee Macki and Sharon Kivland. It started at 5:00pm on March 23rd 2012, and is still going.
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Further reading:
Emotional life of objects

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In-between Words And Pictures

The boundaries are not so solid. Categories such as ‘word’ and ‘picture’ apply to…what exactly?  Where is meaning: emotional response or literal definition? Somewhere in the middle. Could you draw the meaning of an unknown word intuitively? And how is it that English cows say “Moo”, yet French cows say “Maa”?
This is a conversation that took place between Alison Carlier, Tony Hall, Paul Wilson, Robert Wilson and Karen David. It started at 3:00pm on March 23rd 2012 and is still going.
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Objects In The Urban Environment

London vs Seoul. The cuteness of Gilbert + George; have you ever seen them dining in Dalston? This discussion attempts to move a cup with telekineses. And covers pigs, pigheads, pyschosis, truth and literal meaning. Are objects in urban environments extensions of our bodies? Perhaps we are mediated by objects through our relations with them. We continue to misunderstand them. Who is driving your car? We say our interaction defines their use, so the opposite is also applicable to us?
This is a conversation that took place between Yang Jiwon, Eugene Nyee Macki, Michelle Atherton, Lucia Farinati and Sharon Kivland. It started at 3:30pm on March 23rd 2012, and is still going.
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Painting: Who’s Watching Who?

Is painting a noun or a verb; is painting an object or something that artists do? Alternatively, can painting be an understanding, a knowledge or an experience happening beyond either of these; could painting be a conversation about a painting? And is it something intrinsically artistic, concerned with the nature of being an artist, or is painting the process of learning, like a child, drawing their way into understanding the world?
This is a conversation that took place between Karen David, Tony Hall, Robert Wilson and Gary Simmonds. It started at 3:30pm on 23rd March 2012, and is still going.
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Golf Balls

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This is a conversation that took place between Harry, Galen, Ruth and Paul. It was started at 4:15pm on 23rd march 2012, and is still going
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Object abuse asks the question:
who or what is being abused?

Object Abuse has been set up to provide a platform for people to discuss, provoke and question the very nature and orientation of objects. The aim is to readdress the unquestioned drives of our collective pursuits, to turn the tables on the object-subject dynamic.

This investigation’s relevance is reflected in recent developments in philosophy, shifts in our socio-cultural landscape and is finding expression in the visual arts. This questioning of our human-centric perspective is reflected through current ideas found in the works of Bruno Latour, Graham Harman, Quentin Meillassoux, Anselm Franke and others.

The question: what exactly is object abuse is by no means obvious, when you think about it, who is to say the object in question is passive and not active? Also it is worth asking where does the form of abuse originate from? What qualifies abuse, is it quantifiable, can we identify subtler variations? And for that matter; what is an object, or rather can we say what is not an object…with any real certainty?

OA‘s function is to invite a multidisciplinary engagement; to be a forum, a curatorial framework and an archival space.

We welcome expressions of interest and contributions to the ongoing debate.