Summary of Lecture:
Our first lecture with Dr. Ashley Morgan covered two theorists:
- Arjun Appadurai – The Thing Itself
- Miller – What is Materiality
Arjun Appadurai’s theory and belief is that objects do indeed have a social life and that nothing is permanent – everything, both human and object – have a lifespan or life cycle. There is also discussion about the illusion of permanence as Arjun Appadurai states:
“It is not just the materials from which art objects are composed that threaten to break through the illusion of permanence. It is the very action of the artists, the craftsmen, the builders, and the framers that is always waiting to show its hand. The tear in the canvas, the crack in the glass, the chip in the wood, the flaw in the steel are not just signs of homo Faber, but of activity that art both conceals and celebrates.” – Arjun Appadurai.
In this paragraph, Arjun basically states that nothing is permanent as anything can be broken or ripped, torn, slashed etc. This theory to read and try to understand was difficult and it took breaking it down line to line to understand.
Miller discusses materiality and how in his point of view, we should not simplify the meaning of materiality. It is a very expansive and diverse term.
“A volume that spans topics as diverse as cosmology and finance cannot afford to rest to rest upon any simplistic definition of what we mean by the word material. It needs to encompass both colloquial and philosophical uses of this term.” – Miller.
So the way we describe and analyse an object in easy or difficult terminology. Miller discusses the things or objects that we do not see that surround things – but they are only missed when they are removed from our social settings because we realise how they affect our lives and comforts.
This lecture has taught me about the life cycles of objects, objects in social settings, how to analyse their placements and symbolic meaning in our world and how materiality is a constant.
PDP Task: Prague (Orloj) Astronomical Clock
I chose the mediaeval Astronomical clock in Prague because it is the third oldest clock of its kind in the world. Therefore it is a historical landmark. Aside from landmarks, timepieces are evident in our day-to-day lives as they provide structure and stability to daily routines. We are so accustomed to timepieces ticking away in the background that if they were to be removed from our lives, where would structure be? For example: Your lecture starts at 11am but your mobile phone no longer demonstrates the time or your wristwatch has been removed. If timepieces were to be removed from our social settings, everyone’s lives would probably be unorganized chaos.