The ways of things: Objects in the studio

Robb, Charles (2015) The ways of things: Objects in the studio. In Aesthetics After Finitude Conference, 5-6 February 2015, University of NSW, Sydney, NSW. (Unpublished)


Conventions of the studio presuppose the artist as the active agent, imposing his/her will upon and through objects that remain essentially inert. However, this characterisation of practice overlooks the complex object dynamics that underpin the art-making process. Far from passive entities, objects are resistant, ‘speaking back’ to the artist, impressing their will upon their surroundings. Objects stick to one another, fall over, drip, spill, spatter and chip one another. Objects support, dismantle, cover and transform one another. Objects are both the apparatus of the studio and its products. It can be argued that the work of art is as much shaped by objects as it is by human impulse. Within this alternate ontology, the artist becomes but one element in a constellation of objects.

Drawing upon Graham Harman’s Object-Oriented Ontology and a selection of photographs of my studio processes, this practice-led paper will explore the notion of agentive objects and the ways in which the contemporary art studio can be reconsidered as a primary site for the production of new object relationships.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

110 since deposited on 31 Mar 2015
67 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 82875
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: practice-led research, Contemporary sculpture, Object-oriented ontology, Subjectivity
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > VISUAL ARTS AND CRAFTS (190500) > Fine Arts (incl. Sculpture and Painting) (190502)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Current > Schools > School of Media, Entertainment & Creative Arts
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Charles Robb
Copyright Statement: All rights reserved
Deposited On: 31 Mar 2015 00:36
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2015 23:18

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page