Unaligned Seminar – The Object as Subject
13 June 2016

Facilitator: Kevin Temple

What is an object?
Over the past decade, a handful of theorists have attempted to re-envision what objects are, how we relate to them, and how they relate to each other. Under the name Object Oriented Ontology (OOO), Graham Harman’s ideas, in particular, have become highly influential in contemporary visual art and architecture discourse. Rethinking objects through OOO seems to promise explosive effects for artistic practice, by lending autonomy to things and authority to artists. Yet OOO could just as well be named subject oriented ontology, insofar as it makes every object a subject. Is OOO as useful as it appears? Is it even coherent?

The seminar will begin with Harman’s “The Third Table,” an introduction to OOO that Harman contributed to documenta13’s 100 notes, 100 thoughts publishing project. After that, we will read his The Quadruple Object, and decide the following readings as a group.

The first session of the inaugural Unaligned Seminar was from 7 to 9 PM, June 21, 2016, at Art Metropole. Subsequent sessions will be organised based on availabilities of participants.

A new initiative of the AGYU, the Unaligned Seminars are a series of workshops for artists on contemporary issues in the field. Facilitated by an engaging host, the workshops will bend the strengths of a university philosophy seminar toward the interests of practicing artists. Discourse is one of the tools of the studio, and we’re interested in the ways that artists use, and abuse, philosophy and theory.

Meeting once a month for six months, participation is open to all (practicing artists preferred) willing to commit to the full series. The Objects as Subjects? edition of the Unaligned Seminar is facilitated by Kevin Temple, a Toronto-based writer, critic, and PhD candidate in philosophy at The New School for Social Research, New York.




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