• Li An Li

Objects and why artist collect the strangest things.

I am trying to work my way through Jane Bennett's Vibrant Matter. Isn't it bizarre when someone writes and it's what you've been thinking but can't say?! So far in the first chapter Bennett talks of the differences of human and nonhuman life but also who humans are object as well. I do find it rather depressing to think of myself as an object or perhaps what is actually depressing is the thought that I am only an object and nothing more. I must say, I think I am much more than simply an object but I am only an object in part. That I am an object which can think and detach myself from object state and view myself as detached from the body, which is something object cannot do.

The other aspect I found interesting is how she mentions objects relate to one another. Such as if I put bread next to a hive you may think I am referencing a delicious snack. However, if I place bread next to a rubbish bin I may be commenting on consumerism. Objects can play off one another.

That brings me to my practice, to the paint pouring, perhaps what it runs down can say some reference to my culture or to the flow of one's life... of with the photography, the objects I leave in or leave out of the image will make the photography tell a different story. However I find it most applicable to my meditative works, Bennet references Thoreau "the discipline of looking always at what is to be seen". I take this as meaning that you can see if you don't look. Once you look you will know what you need to see because it will be obvious no matter how mundane. The second person Bennet refers to Spinoza "all things are 'animate, albeit in different degrees" to me this means that all objects have a story to tell, they have something to say as long as we listen.

Perhaps this isn't just the object but perhaps the spirit of creativity that beckons us to see such things..

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