The Nocturnal Life of Objects


As the final nightshift draws to an end I think about how the experiences of encounter with the object have varied over the past week, and how our nightly vigil has restricted us from asking: What does an object do when we are not looking?

Just like the well trodden path of narratives of animation where objects magically come to life away from the human gaze, there is something irresistable about this notion; like the imagining of the halls of a museum at night, or the quite of an archive storeroom (like the one our object is sure to return to). Here, an object appears to be in a state between material presence and fulling its promise of representaion when the lights come on and the viewer approaches.

Yet to image is to make the object appear. This state between, the true nocturnal life of the object, will always be unkown to us.

Further reading on the secret life of objects:

Elkins,James (1999), The Object Stares Back. Thomson Learning.
Schwenger, Peter (2006), The Tears of Things: Melancholy and Physical Objects, Minnesota:University of Minnesota Press.
Nelson, Victoria (2003), The Secret Life of Puppets, London: Harvard University Press.