What is to be gained by arguing that objects speak? What do recent turns to the non-human and to things have in common? And what conflicts are emerging within the apparently consensual removal of the human from the centre of the problem of knowledge? Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in objects, things, and the non-human – a gradual departure from the domination of text, language, and discourse in previous decades, or, as is often said, a move away from the human as the central point of reference for thinking the world. The claim that there is a consensual turn is compounded by the emergence of numerous publications on non-human actors in fields as diverse as archaeology, science studies, anthropology, philosophy, history, art, and architecture; works in which the divide between nature and culture or between humans and non-humans is effaced, where complex assemblages of people and things challenge thought procedures, and where the ground upon which modernity itself was founded becomes the object of contention. However, if we look closely at the different ways in which these topics are being discussed, the image of a uniform turn immediately disappears; we find that recent attempts to emancipate objects are contingent upon and differentiated by the practices in which they emerge. With this in mind, the present book tries for the first time to bring together several different forums in which objects are being discussed anew, suggesting that the conflicts arising from fortuitous encounters between researchers might be more productive than a consensual turn to post-humanism.
The book takes as its point of departure two well-worn notions, objects and savages, specifically in reference to a Savage Thought that we provocatively twist upon itself, bringing to light not the thought per se but its object and the resistance this object holds to thought. We invited contributions from very different fields to respond to this provocation – from philosophers, archaeologists and anthropologists, to activists, architects and artists – to focus not only on objects themselves but also on the practices within which they are constituted and the territories they refer to. By framing these discussions within object-research as well as academic discourse – in fields ranging from textual production, legal forums, image migration, state performance, and acoustic exploration – speculation about objects and things also becomes a discussion about conflicting ecologies of thought, thus providing insight into often overlooked pragmatic and political dimensions. Ultimately, our hope is that, by bringing such diverse practices together, new lines of thought can be suggested and spaces for new alliances be forged.
Contributors: Martin Holbraad; Ayesha Hameed; Michael Taussig; Graham Harman; Bjørnar Olsen; João Maria Gusmão; Eyal Weizman; Susan Schuppli; Reza Negarestani; Jonathan Saldanha; Regina de Miguel; Marcello Maggi; Paulo Tavares, Godofredo Pereira.
Edited by Godofredo Pereira
Published by Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda (INCM)»