[-empyre-] Meillassoux / Harman

Rob Myers rob at robmyers.org
Thu Jun 28 07:15:33 EST 2012

On 06/27/2012 11:07 AM, Robert Jackson wrote:
> Hi All,
> It's worth noting that Kosuth was a conceptual artist who explicitly
> followed in the lineage of Duchamp and the 'demonstration' of idea: that
> is to say, the conceptual delivery of art as information and
> the separation of 'art' from 'aesthetics' - (his famous Art Forum
> essay 'art after philosophy' says as much). Hardly any of these elements
> chime with the privileging of the discrete object in OOO.

The object in itself being accessible as simply the sum of its unique 
(fnarr) aesthetic properties valenced in terms of their efficacy at 
reflecting the ego of the gentlemanly spectator is a vision of OOO that 
would cause its proponents to clop furiously.

> As Ian mentioned - The fact the OOO is threatening a lot of 40 - 50 year
> old structuralist-poststructuralist assumptions doesn't stop at
> philosophy or cultural theory. In the arts - pretty soon we'll start

Having been at art school in the early nineties I have very little time 
for PS but I'm constantly surprised at how different OOO apparently 
believes its dryly authoritarian poetics are from PS.

> seeing bigger conflicts between proponents of the Duchamp lineage and
> whatever manifestation OOO and art happen to collide in. IMO Duchamp has
> a lot to answer for, especially in the dross of conceptual creative
> malaise which contemporary art can't get out of. Duchamp is now no

Neoconceptualism (80s...) and relationalism (90s...) are in no small 
part about the pastoral ventriloquization of objects (...commodities or 
resources, obviously including human resources...). OOO poses no threat 
to this order, flat ontology is as market friendly (with apologies to 
everyone who has a sad at the trivial fact of OOO's literal and 
metaphoric market congruity, which it shares with Theory's identity 
politics) as suspension of judgement was. It is a managerial Hameau de 
la Reine.

The error of Duchamp's reception by the art (market|world) is to assume 
that the ontological blasphemy of the creative act is repeatable. Badiou 
is useful here, or at least fun.

> longer avantgarde - but what Greenberg accurately described as 'avant
> gardist'. It's consists not of sincerity but of demonstration - and its
> expiration date is nigh.

Duchamp is exquisitely ironic, introducing negative valences into 
aesthetics and negative space into the ontology of art. But he was 
reclaimed by the art market by the 1960s with the editions of his lost 


> Besides the inevitable disagreements/agreements on what objects are, or
> how they relate, I think OOO has brought depth back into the heart of
> discrete entities, with a realist equivalent twist.


- Rob.

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