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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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.