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Dumb Fixity

The structures that we set out to negate, those of language and mapped opinion, needed to be embraced.

To define the field, we needed a system of measurement, a gauge to plot the characteristics and inner allegiances of objects.

A spatial structure was designed to measure this ‘other language’, with a grid of fixity, framed by an axis of indices. A number of specialist researchers from anthropology, philosophy, and animism to semiotics, design, particle physics, and art were invited to participate in the research process, re-orientate a series of objects/things by placing them in the structure and contributed to a series of roundtable discussions.

This shows the three zones: for ground is words/language, mid ground is conversation and background is objects/materiality.

Dumb Fixity arose from a desire to measure an abstract set of phenomena, working on the premise that things can speak and to find a means of hearing what they are telling us. The first question was how we could negate the subjective interpretations of our human perspective, if we could transcend our human desire to name, label, and categorise matter and meaning.

The answer was that it is impossible: there is no avoiding our disadvantaged position of being human; we cannot escape comprehending and defining the world through our language. How then do we hear a shared language of the mountain, the fox or the lamp? We had to take another tack.

This investigation is a process of fixity, an attempt to plot the proximities, connections, and allegiances of things, and trace the associations of their auras.

Dumb Fixity:
The Impossible Question

TC McCormack, Martin J Gent & Esther Leslie Artwords Press 2010

46 pages B&W reproductions.ISBN 9781906441227

13.5 x 21 cm English text. Softcover

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.