works                     text  





A term that will be used to describe how objects are used in our human everyday lives. I assert that in the current anthropocentric system the classification ‘object’ is created by humans, as humans provide a name/function for each thing which turns the thing into an object.[1] The above habitual and dominating relationship with the landscape exposes that humans have become rooted in ‘Anthropocentric’ thinking, which locates humans as the central figures in the world. Through this approach, humans have placed themselves above the realm of objects/nature and organise the latter from a distance. This process of constructing abstract universals is continued through anthropocentric systems, in which each object is given signification through a term and function. This term is relational, as it serves a purpose for humans and stands in for the thing itself. The human- object relationship is an infinite refraction between human and object, so the objects themselves are the reflections of human thought.


A term that will be used to describe when an object is not normalized through its assumed function. An object becomes, or is a thing because it is untied (‘Un-bound’) from, or does not have a direct use relation to humans, ‘Things: Thinking in this way, we are called by the thing as the thing. In the strict sense of the German words “bedingt”, we are the be-thinged...’[2] Heidegger’s distinction between objects and things posits that an object becomes a thing when it can no longer serve its common function. For example, when a hammer ceases to work because the handle has fallen off then it reveals its thinghood as distinct from its purpose for humans as a useful object. Graham Harman states in Prince of Networks: Bruno Latour and Metaphysics (2009) that, ‘...the real object is a unified thing, but not an empty unity. It possesses a multitude of qualities that it unifies in a highly specific way’.vii In Harman’s assessment, a thing and object can exist at the same time in a single substance but Harman seems to be foregrounding that the things internal relations are complex and are unified through the object that appears to a subject. Therefore, things are able to be fully a ‘thing’ but objects cannot be fully an ‘object’ because an object appears to an external viewer who contributes to its interpretation and does not take into account its internal reality. As a result, an object is unified with an often predetermined (through social, political, economic and cultural systems) relationship to an observer/user. However, when an object’s existence or purpose is unknown it can break down into a thing. Following on from this notion of understanding the thing as an unknown, I assert that an artwork is successful when it presents a thing as opposed to an object. The unknown thing, as artwork, can present itself in its complexity and provide the space for the viewer to encounter it with their own personal experience/imagination, as opposed to interpreting it through an anthropocentric lens.


An interrogation of the habitual use of combining artificially manufactured materials. Jointing postulates that through the unexpected joining of things, and alternative material combinations, a productive error (or Glitch) could be produced. Therefore, Jointing is a combination of interactions which produces a network of actors and interpretations.


A term taken from Legacy Russell’s Glitch Feminism: A Manifesto (2020). Russell compels the reader to try to consciously create a glitch in their habitual living. This is to liberate the reader from the limitations of social constructs. Glitches are productive errors for Russell, who states that they can provide an opportunity for creativity and alternative possibilities. As human society often aims to eliminate the possibilities presented by glitches, in order to prevent the out of control from occurring, a perfect path and end- product is offered instead. In contrast, I aim to embrace the glitches that exist in our lives through my practice, which frames errors as positive additions to society.


A term that comes from Maria Puig de la Bellacasa in Matters of Care: Speculative Ethics in More Than Human Worlds (2017). Bellacasa suggests that although society often renders care invisible, it cannot make the act of caring disappear as humans are interdependent (with each other and their environment). In contrast to general use, Bellacasa asserts the importance of a situated care, ‘transforming things into matters of care is a way of relating to them, of inevitably becoming affected by them, and of modifying their potential to affect others.’[3] This care has to be situated, responsive to particular situations as opposed to a general notion of care, as things are as complex as their human counterparts. For instance, like process and glitch, maintenance of the environment (actors and networks) always exists but has often been overlooked by society. Maintenance exists in everyday society but largely remains invisible, therefore, both my practice and research intend to make these processes of care tangible.

[1] Anthropocentric - refers to a human-centered, or anthropocentric point of view. In philosophy, anthropocentrism can refer to the point of view that humans are the only, or primary, holders of moral standing.

[2] Martin Heidegger, The Thing, Poetry, Language, Thought (New York: Harper & Row, 1971), p.181

[3] Graham Harman, Prince of Networks: Bruno Latour and Metaphysics (Melbourne: Re-Press, 2009), p.218

[4] Maria Puig de la Bellacasa, Matters of Care: Speculative Ethics in More Than Human Worlds (University of Minnesota Press: London, 2017), 99.


© 2012-2023  Chen, Yun-Ling. All rights reserved