The Object, Between Time and Temporality (LCCT 2012)

Organised in collaboration with Matt Mahon (UCL)

It is time we take the temporality of the object seriously. Objects are multiple sites of value – of materiality, identity, production, exchange, historicity, and symbolic comportment. They are predominantly conceived of in spatial terms (how do we, I, you, situate ourselves to this or that object?). But they find themselves also embedded within discourses of time and temporal unfolding; instrumentality, desire, decay.

Whether characterized as commodity, conceptual, perceptual, or artistic objects each can be seen to hold a relationship to time and temporality. This relationship itself shapes, in turn, their statuses as sites of value. This network of interconnected ideas affords an exploration of the object/objects as a viable beginning for transdisciplinary dialogues, a non-centered knotting together of conceptual threads – object, time, perception, history, etc. – without axiomatic first-principles.

Disciplinary boundaries help to constitute particular objects of focus. Can (should) such divisions be overcome? Can the spatial object of architectural study be considered temporally, as ensconced by the passing of time? Can the temporal object of musicological study be considered spatially, with the spatial as stemming from the temporal? Must a critique of the temporality of the subject result in a contraction to a pure present? What potentials are there for transdisciplinary objects of study?

This discussion comes at a time of when temporality is itself an object of study, be this Fredric Jameson’s (2003) analysis of ‘The End of Temporality’, Cory Arcangel’s critical-artistic explorations of technological objects’ relationships with time, Karol Berger’s (2005) study of the historicity of concepts of time as mediated musically, David Couzens Hoy’s (2009) critical history of temporality, or recent revivals in process philosophy and non-representational theory.

Papers on the following topics, as well as related areas, are welcomed:

  • History in/of the object
  • Intersections of subject and object as shaped by time/temporality
  • Time, temporality, and the materiality of objects (commodity, symbolic produce, etc.)
  • Transdisciplinary objects of study
  • Critiques of subjectivity through the object

The final stream make-up (of three panels) can be found in the LCCT 2012 programme.

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