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Days Go By, Forever

2021 - Ongoing

For “Days Go By” I take inspiration from Graham Harman’s object-oriented ontology (OOO), Heidegger’s ‘’Thingness’’, and Kant’s ‘Critique of Pure Reason’.

I create some ‘thing’ that otherwise would be no ‘thing’. I document therefore immortalise and give a new meaning to the objects left facing the fate of the world. Eventually each one of them goes. Some go quick, but others like to stick around.

I start to accept them as things and not objects, because they get more familiar each time.

Then the next day I expect to be greeted once again, however I turn to see nothing but an empty space. For a moment, my head goes silent as if out or respect to this which is now gone. We do not often feel time and change but instead we learn to live around it. Buildings rise, graves expand, flowers bloom. How often do you experience time, or do you know how to?

Our day-to-day life numbs us down and we forget to remember; then get lost in time.

I use objects as a memento to be aware of time, place and space.

Days Go By. Forever on Plum Lane

March twenty-fifth to May twelve, twenty twenty-two

The function of philosophy varies from that of science in that, unlike science, philosophy investigates our core conceptual models; the types of ideas and ordering patterns we apply. Philosophical questions like "What, exactly, is an explanation?" and "What, exactly, is an explanation?"

Is anything explained for example, when separated into components and we can predict how some parts would behave? This is only one example of a plausible reason. It works quite well for a car though it doesn't tell you what makes it run, less well for a biological cell, whose "parts" aren't living and don't explain how it lives, and extremely badly for understanding personality. Has anything been explained when we feel we "get" it because we've been shown how it fits within a bigger context or broader structure, to name one of the many types?

These philosophic questions aren't meant to figure out what an explanation is, but rather to figure out what an explanation is. However, as we have seen, there are a variety of reasons. Which one, should we use in any case? Should I try to employ all of them, and if so, when and with what benefits and disadvantages? How will we choose amongst these explanations? Should it be determined by the field in which we operate, the explanation we seek, or the style used?

The term thing is one of the most often used in regular conversation. It is both definite and ambiguous, implying certainty yet ambiguity. "Can you grab that stuff over there,", "I have a thing to go to at nine,", "there's something odd going on here," are some of the phrases we use. Without a belief about particular, the word thing holds all the weight of existence. Without committing to any specific expertise, we can lead someone, transfer information, or make a concrete comment about the real world. The term "thing" alludes to the non-human, non-subjective universe. As a result, concepts like materiality and objecthood are associated with it.

"Thing" has greater ambiguity than these two phrases, as it does not commit to a particular explanation of the universe, and it does not suggest a specific viewing subject. As a result, Thing enables analysis outside of a certain viewpoint and without taking into account specific subjects. Because of its ambiguity, the term thing raises images of the unmediated, reality without a code that exists outside of the perceiving subject and the representations that the subject constructs around the thing. It's a buzzword for time-sensitive issues.

Days Go By. Forever on Cycleway

March twenty-seventh, twenty twenty-two

‘’We name a time when we say: everything has its time. This means everything which is, every being comes and goes at the right time and remains for a time during the time allotted to it. Every thing has its time.’’ Heidegger says this in the ‘’Being and Time’’ which makes us wonder, things still exist even if you are not part of the world but you wouldn’t know what a thing is if you did not exist.

But if things have such complex interpretations then why does Johann Hari reference ‘stuff’ and ‘things’ as ‘’meaningless junk and that the true value of life has been distracted from opinions’’? I think this is a rather negative outlook which limits any kind of argument. I cannot agree that they are meaningless but I see what he means by opinions.

Some opinions are common, some are personal. We should not expect to find value in things we do not like to do, but we should cherish stuff that connects us. The meaning of things is very broad, people use it as a reference when speaking about a known subject/object amongst other people who know the same object and the way it is being referenced. But beyond that, to a passing stranger, it means nothing. Even though we are all separated entities as Heidegger says, we are connected through existence, but we are still divided by our interest in things and what stuff we like to do.

To take into consideration, a thing is very much related to the human species specifically. Most things are made to suit our abilities. If we could fly, we would not need stairs. Frantz Kafka’s ‘Metamorphosis’, the world Gregor woke up in was not accustomed to his form, the things and objects he could use before, proved useless. As long as we can use things it is not a problem but what if one day we all became giant bugs, then no thing, no object would matter. It is interesting how stuff can become so meaningless in a matter of seconds and objects loose any kind of sense.

Heidegger explains the thing in a way in a different light, in his example, the "thingness" of a vessel is found in its emptiness or the space that has the liquid, rather than the container's walls, as one might expect. Instead, while the vessel's walls establish the emptiness's borders, it is the void itself that we are concerned with in order to apprehend ‘The Thing’. "the empty space, this nothing of the jug, is what the jug is as a holding vessel," says in this example. In summary, and perhaps this is an oversimplification, anything is characterised by what it is not.

Days Go By. Forever on Spray Street

November eighteenth, twenty twenty-one to March fifteenth, twenty twenty-two


‘’What might be said in things in themselves, separated from all relationships to our senses, remains for absolutely unknown’’ The distinction between the thing and itself and the way the thing appears is one of the central breakthroughs of Emanuel Kant’s great text the ‘Critique of Pure Reason’. Kant recognised that the human subject was finite and being finite it was not able to gain any knowledge of the external world that wasn’t already mediated by its subjectivity. His transcendental idealism analysed the structure of subjectivity seeking to determine the way in which it functioned which led him to the creation of the categories of the understanding.

Kant considered these categorises to be the basis for any cognition and space and time to be the forms of intuition through which experience occurs. The crucial point however is that Kant did not consider forms of intuition to apply to the real world as they were simply the essential elements of human understanding. Many post Kant rejected his distinction between the numeral and the phenomenal or the in-itself and the appearance. ‘’If we cannot have any knowledge of the thing and itself, how can we speak of it as existing in the first place’’, Harman’s idea explains how every interaction has an outside. There is a world outside the mind and every thing in itself has an outside.

Speculative Realism(OOO) is a movement proposed by Harman, and it treats objects as important as humans in its investigation of their existence. Humans are not all-powerful over objects in this way, we coexist on planet Earth. This contrasts with Heidegger’s ideas of an object because it gives it human priorities, once a thing is treated like a being then it is close to becoming one.

The finitude of objects is not ontologically distinct from the finitude of the human ‘’I don’t grasp human finitude simply because I happen to be human, but because I can deduce the finitude of human experience, and for the very same reason can deduce the finitude of horses, cats, flowers and atoms’’. Despite the fact that Harman acknowledges that the object in themselves can never be grasped by either the human mind or any other object.

Onto-Taxonomic Realism is the belief that reality exists outside of the mind, which gives the human ontological privileges and that is why philosophers fall for it. This is because the human mind is not the only thing with an outside, every object anywhere has an outside. ‘’The rejection of onto-taxonomy is the only exit from modern philosophy’’ Realism for Harman is the belief that real objects exist with the implication that they exist outside one another. His global finitude confirms the ‘kantian’ distinction between us and the things in themselves but not because we a unique in any way but because this gap is essential to the relation between all objects.

Objects are an important part of our history, paintings, documents, artefacts of human interaction, and a story of our existence. But how valuable are objects? Of course, diamonds, gold and such will always be the most valuable because they can make the most money. However true value can never be bought with money and the idea of the object can be used in many ways. To alchemists, the grand object was the Philosopher’s stone with it they could have infinite objects, to fulfil their ongoing desires. They are all connected by this one thing, chasing the stuff they never got to. However, some of us do not need magic stones or elixirs, there are more honest and humane ways to be fulfilled, however, it would be different for each individual.

‘’In this respect, all objects we experience are merely fictions: simplified models of the far more complex objects that continue to exist when I turn my head away from them, not to mention when I sleep or die’’. His point is that even though we experience every object as a fiction these limitations not the product of our own nature but is the universal feature of any relation. Every real object only interacts with another real object through the meditation of a sensual object. There is no form of causation in OOO if we understand causation as a real object directly affecting another real object. Every real object can only interact with a sensual object and it’s this direct interaction that result in secondary effects on the real object. The only direct interaction between objects is the interaction between real and sensual ones. This was one of Kant’s problems when looking at human subjectivity which led philosophers such Fita to scrap the real object and the thing in itself all together. Harman point is that infinitude only leads to idealism when we limit this finitude to the human being. For OOO the human being is indeed forbidden from direct access to the external world only exists because humans are another type of object.

‘’Only by understanding object as having its own inaccessible identity can we escape the anthropocentrism of modern philosophy’’

Exhibited Artworks

3 Editions

Edition 1/3

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