Thinking about making brings to mind the writing of Ian Bogost, another OOO, and the concept of Carpentry or ‘Special Carpentry’ according to Graham Harman. Understanding how things make their world, a philosophical mode of practice and learning through doing about, not only how things work or why but how those things make their world. After speaking with Sonic artist Morten Riis at a recent ~hotwire~ conference centred around the concept of ‘t(h)inkering’ I realised carpentry would be a useful approach to certain practice based workshops that are not aiming to make one specific tool or kit but rather exploring the field of potential around the making practice. Largely discussed within the practice of gaming and code by Bogost it would also naturally fit with the world of physical objects. Learning about that object not through reading the schematic or data sheet but through making. This thought has brought in the concept of ‘t(h)inkering’ used to describe the work of (a favourite artist of mine) Paul Demarinis by ….? Need to find the name! This feels close to carpentry but perhaps more playful and messy. How to do carpentry with vibration in sound and light? Workshop the making of piezo crystal and light responsive materials – very messy, chemicals required but could be a way (or path) to expressing how the thing makes it world?.?

Life in Objects

There is life in the objects and things that contribute to the workshop. ‘Elan vital’. This brings in writing by Bergson, Whitehead, Deleuze and Guattari, Bruno Latour plus emerging thought from the fields of speculative realism, speculative fiction, new materialism and object oriented ontology (OOO) by Steven Shapiro, Levi Bryant, Samantha Frost, Timothy Morton, Jane Bennett, Ian Bogost, Graham Harman – the list goes on. Lists appear to be a very useful writing method for discourse around OOO enabling the writer to bring in objects from everywhere in life – often appearing quite comical. This could well be a challenge within the academic field – come up with the list of most random objects and things. However, what comes across from much of this writing is the vibrant life force that exists within objects and things that is not ‘given’, or attributed, to them through human thought or action. I’m not sure whether the concept of control has been developed from within this field of philosophy – is it linked to the idea of freeing up the control of objects through realising the life force within that is not able to be controlled? Does this offer what Brian Massumi describes as the virtual potential?

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