What is the life of all these objects around us?
The facts are there: objects are an essential part of our lives. The passion of some for cars, books or whatever … No one can say the opposite, even those who stick to the minimum and criticize our consumer society: the objects are there, necessary, obvious, useful, loved or hated.
We need it, want it, we buy it, we use it, we throw it away. This is what the life of an object looks like. But is it enough to say that?
What happens to objects after they are no longer used? When are they lost? Or when we don’t want it anymore? Do they exist longer than we do? Can they exist in spite of us? When can we say that an object is dead? Applying these questions to objects seems absurd, talking about existence, becoming and death seems even more so.
And yet, objects are more than a part of our lives, more than supports, frames, which we charge with a dimension only utilitarian or downright emotional … They go way beyond us, but then what can theirs look like? But above all, and that is the question: what can their life look like beyond the usefulness or the love that we have for them?
Therein lies the paradox: objects survive us, but is this longevity sufficient to make them exist outside of their use?
The problem has not escaped the attention of philosophers: Heidegger tells us that an object is more than a thing, but less than a work of art; Simondon, on the other hand, is interested in the mode of existence of technical objects only; and Baudrillard has made it a semiological system, taking an interest in their pure materiality (that says the leather of a sofa or the transparency of glass).
Well, maybe that’s their life: their resistance.
They resist, they prove that they exist. This is what is fascinating about objects. We use them but they oppose their presence to us. In a way, they are the ones who dominate us, who mark our lives, testify to this. There is a great fear of reification, of being reduced to the state of thing or object, but we could also see the bright side of things and give objects a form of vitality.
Maybe it does connects us with the passed ages, forgotten era, when people used to appreciate all of the nature objects and give to everything a certain meaning. Seems creasy and infantine, however isn’t it easier to live in the meaningful world where you choose each sense of all phenomenon you don’t understand, is it? Give yourself a right to create your own meaning, and then the world starts speak to you.