Having found out that my topic for Level 5 constellation would be the Meshwork of Objects, today was the first lecture. In the lecture we explored the concepts of things and object and how we interact with the world around us. The work was very philosophical in nature and so explaining the concepts discussed may be slightly beyond me. I feel that my Constellation posts will steadily become more and more detailed as I progress through the course and come to understand in more depth.
The gist of the work we did was in looking at how we project on to the objects around us as we move through the world, as well as the effect they have on us. This was a tough concept to get my head around but we were given a practical demonstration using clay. We were asked to take the clay and form it into the tallest, most slender human figure we could manage.
As we constructed our figures many of us, including me, had a great deal of trouble. Clay, being so malleable, is easy to shape, but also not the best at load bearing, so many of our creations either fell apart of slowly sagged over time. As they did so, we balled the clay again and started fresh. As this continued the clay became dryer, less easy to shape and harder to stick together. It was a challenge that just kept getting more difficult.
Jacqui, our lecturer, explained that this was in order to demonstrate her philosophical question. Because it was evident that we were acting upon the clay, manipulating it, as it was simply an inert object. But what she wanted us to understand that, as we affected the clay, the clay changed and refused to to be worked. The clay changed its properties and stopped many of us from creating what had been asked of us.
From this, I learned that objects may appear inert and unchanging. But as we move through the world and interact with them, our experience of them is what makes them real to us. A car for example, is simply a part of modern life. It is a thing we use to commute. But when a car breaks down, it has affected us, we aren’t going anywhere. And that’s when we truly notice it. In short, you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.