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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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.