[-empyre-] Meillassoux / Harman / Kosuth

Timothy Morton timothymorton303 at gmail.com
Sat Jun 30 05:54:16 EST 2012

Hi Everyone,

I just posted this on melancholia and objects on my blog, and since it's
apropos I thought I'd share it. It's the essence of how as an OOO'er I see
appearance or form.


melancholy doesn't imply anything about subjectivity. All you need for
melancholy are various kinds of object. This is what makes it different, in
traditional psychoanalytic theories, from other affects. Indeed, melancholy
speaks a truth of all objects—recall that I here use the term “object” in a
value-neutral way, implying any real entity whatsoever, not objectification
or subject–object dualism. But melancholy doesn't require fully formed
subjectivity. Indeed, subjectivity is a result of an abnegation of the
melancholic abject (Kristeva). The melancholy coexistence of objects
predates the existence of the ego. Egos presuppose ancient layers of
beings, fossilized remains.

On Wed, Jun 27, 2012 at 9:51 AM, Jon Ippolito <jippolito at maine.edu> wrote:

> Hi Simon,
> As I'm sure you know, Kosuth's essay "Art After Philosophy" seemed to
> imply a platonic solution to that conundrum. His essay claims what's
> important about chairs (and art) is the unique idea conveyed to us by their
> varying manifestations, whether dictionary definition, photo, or wooden
> furniture.
> I had the opposite impression standing in front of One and Three Chairs.
> What struck me--and indeed seemed highlighted by the work's
> presentation--was how different each of the versions were, and how
> ludicrous it seemed to pretend details like the smell of wood, the pale
> black-and-white print, and the dictionary typeface were just incidental
> projections of the same "higher" concept into our reality.
> When I mentioned the disparity between what I saw in his work and what he
> wrote in "Art After Philosophy," Kosuth told me to "forgive the immature
> proclamations of a 23-year-old" or something to that effect.
> Occasionally people view the variable media paradigm as similarly
> platonic--an approach to preservation that only applies to conceptual art.
> But just as One and Three Chairs is about the differences that inevitably
> emerge among difference instances of the same concept, so media and
> performative artworks are never the same from one viewing to another.
> I think Euro-ethnic culture needs more practice accepting difference. One
> of the few useful nuggets I've gleaned from Jacques Lacan (via Joline
> Blais) is his division of the world into theory (Lacan's "symbolic"), what
> we take for real (Lacan's "imaginary"), and what we don't realize we are
> leaving out (Lacan's "real").
> I like to lob this self-damning formulation at philosophers who busy
> themselves nailing down ontologies in their head instead of nailing down
> shingles on an ecovillage home somewhere.
> OK, back to building my own ecovillage on the coast of Maine.
> jon
> http://MaineCohousing.org
> Simon wrote:
> > 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.
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre


Ecology without Nature <http://ecologywithoutnature.blogspot.com/>
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