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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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.