(un)common ground

a commonplace book

Objects R Us

[N]o longer simply material bodies offering a certain resistance, [everyday objects of a passion–that is, collected objects] become mental precincts over which I hold sway, they become things of which I am the meaning, they become my property and my passion.

Jean Baudrillard, The System of Objects (1968)

Hard to take this passage out of its larger paragraph, but this beginning the chapter on Collecting as an outgrowth of the system of objects. Baudrillard concludes that “[the object’s] absolute singularity…arises from the fact of being possessed by me–and this allow me, in turn, to recognize myself in the object as an absolutely singular being. … For what you really collect is always yourself.” This sort of objectification of the self could be viewed as performance, itself a utilization of forms of social and cultural capital.

Makes me think of selfies… What about photo galleries of any kind? And doesn’t the photo gallery imply the same question that Baudrillard raises about collecting, that it suffers from an inner tension never to actually complete its serial endeavor? Seems we treat photo galleries/albums in the same way. A “complete” photo album reflects death–as would literally be the case with a deceased person’s photo album(s), for instance.

For an interesting application of the collection concept, Mike Rugnetta does a great tie-in of this dynamic while discussing daily routines in “Coffee, Mesmerism, and Morning Routines.”


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This entry was posted on September 21, 2015 by and tagged .
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