Allison Gibbs

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SYNOPSIS

Synopsis of a 26 comment facebook thread on object oriented ontology


In a twenty six comment thread on the social networking platform Facebook, the subject of the contemporary philosophical trend of object oriented ontology is discussed among thirteen people, on all hallows eve, 2012. Monica poses the question, on behalf of Penny, of what texts to read and which local philosophers to speak to regarding Object Oriented Ontology. What follows is a lengthy trail of call and response virtual dialogue.


The majority of the group offer up practical solutions and suggestions for Penny, who is new to philosophy but clearly keen to learn. Books, blogs, podcasts and pdf's are recommended along with a list of academics in the field who may be able to help.


Suggestions continue to flow in rapidly; Graham Harman, Quentin Meillassoux, Collapse Journal, Paul Ennis, Tristan Garcia, until Brent breaks through the mask of objectivity, suggesting the faddishness of the theme and the poor quality of many sources. Nate and Pedro agree, triggering a twenty four hour philosophical riot.


Penny asks what role artists play in the ascent of such philosophies to states popularity and fandom. The discussion tails off, ending with Alan's comment that a fundamental problem associated with social practice and relational aesthetics is the discourse's privileging of human to human relations and disregard for object relationality.


(all names have been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals)


DESCRIBUTIVES

Wuhn (temporal fact * speculative)

A silent, colour 16mm film, transferred to video, projected. From black, the golden surface of an unidentified object fills almost the entire frame. The image is richly coloured and bears the artefacts of analogue film production. The camera pulls slowly outwards in a gradual, but stumbling zoom to reveal a fragmented sculptural face atop a crude civic plinth, staring as if over the shoulder of the viewer, with white painted lips and head resting on a golden golf ball. In the background moving shapes, colours and shadows become apparent. As the camera zooms out further three people, in discussion, wearing garish hooded jackets appear behind the face. After four minutes a close-up of a single gesturing hand, painted gold and white, appears briefly. The camera continues it's backward trajectory as three more hand gestures appear in quick succession followed by a close-up of a mouth speaking a single word silently.

150


Papyrus on the Cosmological Worktop (Joanna Russ)

Upon a table 1000 paper equilateral triangles are stacked in a column fifteen centimetres high. Each triangle is cropped from a piece of A3 sized paper. There is a risographic image of a ziggurat at the centre of the triangle, which is orientated with the point towards me. The image is black and white on the left and black, white and fluorescent orange on the right. This vertical division is off centre, with the coloured side of the image appearing textured in a way that does not correspond to the image of the ziggurat. The triangle sheets are accompanied by a single A4 piece of paper containing a paragraph of printed text describing space-time travel using the metaphor of folding paper. On the reverse side of the triangle there is another black, white and orange divided image of a crouching female torso over which three transparent coloured shapes appear superimposed.

150


Ontological time slicing head (tkmaxx)

A hollow pale green head is displayed on a tall plinth. The head is neither mask nor classical bust, but bears some resemblance in expression to the sculpture of roman antiquity. Various objects protrude from the head; a plastic bag covering one eye and nose, a fragment of rubble, a bottle top in the hollow of the covered eye. These objects exist as part of the head, rather than additions to it, forming a single object of uniform colour. Small granular particles are visible within the green, matte surface of the face. The back of the head is absent, leaving a mask-like void. The surface of this void space of the head is textured. Supporting the head is a steel rod attached to a rectangular hexahedron frame made from oak. The top surface of the plinth consists of yellow mesh fabric and four thin strips of aluminium forming a square.

150