[-empyre-] Meillassoux / Harman

Timothy Morton timothymorton303 at gmail.com
Thu Jun 28 03:04:49 EST 2012


Dear Simon,

OOO objects are far more fuzzy than your metaphysically present fuzz. They are ontologically fuzzy. 

To say fuzzy things are better than smooth things--this is just aesthetic ideology run mad. 

Tim


http://www.ecologywithoutnature.blogspot.com

On Jun 26, 2012, at 6:34 PM, Ian Bogost <ian.bogost at lcc.gatech.edu> wrote:

> On Jun 26, 2012, at 3:01 AM, Simon Biggs wrote:
> 
>> But Kosuth's chair engaged the simulacra - it addressed conventional notions of the real as not sustainable. Kosuth's chair is an equivocal chair, a fuzzy chair, all types of chair - and never a chair. It's a conundrum, and that was the point.
> 
> Kosuth's One and Three Chairs is about language, about semiotics. Like everything else has been, for so long. The fact that there are chairs, and there are photographs, and there are words—this is what interests me. The fact that conceptual artists can play pranks on the rich benefactors of museums and galleries is not very interesting to me. It's too bad, because when enacted, One and Three Chairs actually DOES begin to draw our attention to things in an appealing way. But not because the real is unsustainable. Rather, because the real is, well, real.
> 
>> I admit I've not read much about OOO and am yet to be convinced it is worth the effort. I've never been an early adopter - prefer to see the bugs ironed out of things, at least for one cycle, before buying the gizmo in question (and I'm mean with my money, so most often I never buy).
> 
> Harman has been writing under the shingle "object-oriented philosophy" since 1999. His first systematic take, the book Tool-Being, was published in 2002. That's a decade ago. Countless other books and articles on and peripheral to OOO have been published in the intervening time. Like it or not, his work and that of others has had an impact on many fields, even if particularly in recent years. 
> 
> If you aren't interested, fine. If you don't want to do the work, fine. But own up to it. Otherwise, it is too tempting to conclude that you wish only to adopt the ideas that prove popular, that become fungible among the same communities for the same purposes.
> 
>> My initial apprehension of OOO is that it doesn't seek to address the ontology of things as things but their relationships with one another.
> 
> This is precisely the opposite of the main contention of OOO, which holds that something is always left over in things, not used up in their relations. It also addresses, in various and sometimes conflicting ways among its proponents, how things can possibly relate given this basic fact.  
> 
>> The downside of OOO though is that it doesn't seem very fuzzy. I like fuzzy things. They are soft. I also don't like black boxes - and OOO, by its nature, will create black boxes (which brings us back to Plato - damn!).
> 
> OOO rejects the idealism of Plato (it's more like Aristotle, another tragically unpopular figure)—you won't find universal forms in OOO, nor even universal properties, or what Whitehead sometimes calls eternal objects. You're right though that OOO embraces the black box, just as Heidegger and Latour do, in different ways.
> 
> In any case, I think we've really hit on what's really going on here. OOO is threatening to many popular theories of art, culture, identity, politics, and so forth because it holds that a toaster is not an octopus. Somehow, we got so turned around in the last half-century, that we decided that a toaster not being an octopus is oppressive and dangerous. This is a fascinating lesson for me and I thank you for bringing it to my attention. I'll have to consider it further.
> 
> Ian
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre


More information about the empyre mailing list