Stuff Theory: Everyday Objects, Radical Materialism

Stuff Theory: Everyday Objects, Radical Materialism

Maurizia Boscagli


Stuff, the hoard of juvenile items that have shed their commodity glamor yet which we refuse to recycle, flashes up in fiction, movies and pictures as fascinating, unruly reminder of the way humans and subject are intertwined. Stuff is glossy materiality out of bounds that refuses to be contained by means of the western semiotic process. It declines its position because the everlasting sidekick of the topic, and therefore is the precise foundation for a counter-narrative of materiality in flux. Can the sort of narrative, built via the hot materialism, reinvigorate the classical materialist account of human alienation from commodities below capital? through moving the dialogue of materiality towards the classy and the typical, the ebook either embraces and demanding situations the venture of recent materialism. It argues that topic has a politics, and that its new plasticity bargains a persisted hazard of critique.

Stuff Theory's 5 chapters illustrate the intermittent flashes of contemporary 'minor' materiality in twentieth-century modernity as style, reminiscence item, muddle, domestic décor, and waste in a variety of texts: Benjamin's essays, Virginia Woolf's and Elfriede Jelinek's fiction, Rem Koolhaas' feedback, Nineteen Twenties German images and the cinema of Tati, Bertolucci, and Mendes. to name the commodified, ebullient materiality the publication tracks stuff, is to foreground its plastic and transformative strength, its fluidity and its capability to generate occasions. Stuff conception interrogates the political price of stuff's instability. It investigates the opportunity of stuff to revitalize the oppositional energy of the object.

Stuff Theory lines a family tree of materiality: flashpoints of 1 type of minor subject in a succession of cultural moments. It asserts that during tradition, stuff turns into a rallying element for a brand new critique of capital, which continuously works to reassign stuff to a subaltern place. Stuff isn't really in simple terms unruly: it turns into the terrain on which a brand new relation among humans and topic could be built.

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