Ziegler Lecture: Graham Harman

“What Objects Can Do For the Arts” – Prof. Graham Harman, Distinguished University Professor at the American University in Cairo

In an essay for last year’s Documenta (13) catalog entitled “The Third Table,” Prof. Harman argued that the arts have a special role in dealing with objects in separation from their qualities, something the natural sciences cannot afford to do since their method (the opposite one) is to reduce objects to their specific qualities. In this lecture, he will push the argument a step further by clarifying further the relation of art to object-oriented philosophy. While some commentators assume that Speculative Realist philosophy wants to remove humans from art completely (given our distaste for the central role of humans in philosophy since Kant), the true situation is a bit subtler than this. While removing humans as the ubiquitous observer from art and all other domains, the object-oriented variant of Speculative Realism require humans to be a component of the artwork. This lecture considers the consequences of this unexpected turn in the argument.

Graham Harman is the author of numerous books, most recently Weird Realism: Lovecraft and Philosophy (2012) and Bells and Whistles: More Speculative Realism (2013).

The event is free and open to the public.

Thursday, February 27th
Lasserre Building, Room 102
6333 Memorial Road
Vancouver, BC