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Towards Neomaterialism: baricades vs. shipping containers

Organizing Committee:


An open discussion following some ideas on Neomaterialism run by Joshua Simon, curator and writer and a 2011-2013 Vera List Center Fellow, who is researching expanded notions of Thingness as part of his fellowship. 

Some of the topics to be discussed - How come symbols behave like materials ("fake" and "real" brands)? Why have commodities become the historical subject (we furnish our world with IKEA or rather we dwell in its world)? Are humans reduced to simply absorbing surpluses (baby diapers are a form of child labor)? How labor has shifted from production to consumption and why is everything we do is work (even when we are not employed)?

Re-introducing different notions of materialism into the already established conversation on the subjectivity of things, Neomaterialism relates the investigation which the new-materialists have begun, relating it to labor, debt, credit, life-taxes and social organization.

Taking its subtitle from the events of Occupy The Ports (12.12.11), the discussion will touch upon animism and alienation, the overqualified generation and the promise of the Dividual, through recent texts on Neomaterialism by Joshua Simon which have been published with e-flux journal together with Thorstein Veblen's 1898 "The Beginning of Ownership".

Related images here.



Thanks for the information about shipping containers who wanted to do some projects inside the school. I would rather accept ideas on how you find out some documentation for the schools.

tchoi8's picture

Thanks Joshua for the lecture and moderating an exciting discussion. Thanks to H.E.N.S and everyone who came out. I think a friend of Joshua made a video documentation too. Let us know if that becomes available.
Here is a heavily compressed audio file in 11mb. Pls contact me if interested in the original file, it's 900mb.

tchoi8's picture

Hi everyone.

Checked out the space, an exciting venue. Come out tomorrow for lecture and also see an exhibition

Claiborne, There will be audio available soon after the event.

hi joshua /molly /all

might it be possible to record audio and/or video of this discussion? i think it might prove to be valuable materiel to some of us over here in oakland working on projects along the same lines. thanks!

{dot} mcdonald


Hey, which readings should we focus on? The Veblen plus all three neomaterialism essays? Do you have a sense of how we should be thinking about the relationship between the readings, which questions we should have in mind, how the discussion might be steered, etc.?

Pleased that we have found a great space for the class on short notice:
Hannes Eisler Nail Salon (H.E.N.S.), corner of 3rd Ave and Bergen, Brooklyn


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