Dr. Fiona Candlin

Fiona is Senior Lecturer in Museum Studies in the School of Arts at Birkbeck, University of London.
With Raiford Guins she is editor of The Object Reader (2009), and her research on audiences, museums, and the senses culminated in Art, Museums and Touch (Manchester University Press, 2010). She has just begun a new book entitled Micromuseology, which rethinks museum studies from the perspective of very small independent organisations. Between 2005 and 2007 Fiona Candlin was Visiting Professor at Gothenburg University, Sweden.
This was the final provocation of the morning. How can the museum come alive through and for its visitors? And now we have added museums of witchcraft and thoughts of the essences and auras for the objects inside them and the actions and patterns of behaviour of their audience to our already fizzing minds. We were ready to tackle the issues by talking for the rest of the day.
Further reading:
The Object Reader – Fiona Candlin, Raiford Guins
Art, Museums and Touch- Fiona Candlin
Bringing a Museum Object to Life – Jenny Wei
Lines – Tim Ingold

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Gabriel Gbadamosi

Gabriel is an Irish-Nigerian Londoner, a writer and broadcaster. His radio play The Long, Hot Summer of ’76 won the Richard Imison Award; his recently completed novel Vauxhall won the Tibor Jones Pageturner Prize at the London Book Fair. He was AHRC Creative Fellow at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Judith E. Wilson Fellow at Cambridge University.  His essay on the African male nude was recently broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
This provocation kicked off the day’s proceedings with energy and intrigue and superstition. We passed conch shells between us. The sun was shining and Gabriel’s voice filled us and the space with tales of West African oracles and divination. This system is on UNESCO’s list of ‘Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity’.
I   I
I  I
I  I
I  I
Eji Ogbe (Ogbe Meji)
They took palm oil and poured it into the room
And Ant came out;
They took fire and heated the walls
And Cockroach came out.
Orisha said, “That is what happened.
“Orunmila, you took all my slaves and hid them.”

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Professor Dale Russell

Dale is an internationally renowned design practitioner, a futurist and academic.
She advocates innovative design through the synthesis of foresight, research, and practice to initiate people-centred design. introducing narrative insight and understandings as we shape our future, her creative and strategic guidance inspires visionary design cultures and projects in design and technology teams across a diverse blue-chip portfolio. she is Visiting Professor, Innovation Design Engineering, Royal College of Art joint MA/MSc with Imperial College and Honorary Fellow of the RCA; Visiting Professor, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London; and advisor to UAL research centres: Design Against Crime (DACRC), Textile Futures (TFRG),  and Spatial Practices.
Dale provoked second. She provoked us with insights into objects as materials that do things. That live. That are by their very design themselves from the inside out, and the outside in; from the code of their makeup to the form they inhabit and the function they perform. Where will these object-materials take us, now that we have created them?
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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.