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Mutual Darkness of Objects
Research documentation, 2020 (ongoing)



The Bath Mat

Serie A

Condition: I document the position and/or shape of the bath mat when it causes me frustration.
Over a 11 week period, I documented the position and shape of the bath mat in my shared household when it frustrated me. The 28 mat versions that resulted from this were then meticulously recreated to scale and preserved in ceramics. These objects contain the unwittingly youthful and vital movements of my roommate, an energy which I wish to preserve since it is in heavy contrast with that of mine.






︎︎︎







Method



Mutual Darkness of Objects is a research documentation, inspired by Object-Oriented Ontology, about discovering and developing a narrative from a non-human starting point. The title refers to the idea that objects never make direct contact with each other, any more than with the human mind, but require a mediator for such contact to occur. This "mutual darkness" or "mutual withdrawal of things, a term used by Heidegger, makes reality only accessible with indirect language, such as metaphors in aesthetics and poetry.


object (as tracer) ︎︎︎ traces (they capture) ︎︎︎ metaphor ︎︎︎ communicative value


Within this research the (non-human) object is used as a ‘tracer’ to trace the worlds it passes through. By observing and analyzing the object in the different networks of actions in which it is engaged, I’m hoping to extract a communicative value out of the various gestures of the object. This hopefully leads to an exploratory dialog between me, the other and the things around me. 



Het leven van de badkamermat
(dutch)

Ik erger mij aan de badkamermat en hij zich waarschijnlijk ook aan mij. Hij absorbeert en resoneert met de chaotische energie van mijn huisgenoot en wanneer zij de ruimte verlaat en ik deze betreed word ik dominant begroet door haar opmerkelijk aanwezige vitaliteit.

Maar daar heb ik helemaal geen zin in. Ik heb geen zin om geconfronteerd te worden met haar sterke onbewogen ongrijpbare levenslust wat zich vestigt in de kronkels van het schijnbaar levenloos stuk stof.

En terwijl ik met mijn blote tenen de vlekkerige mat glad strijk en daarmee haar onbezonnen jeugdigheid corrigeer, hoop ik dat de kriebels op de grond zich in mijn onderbuik gaan nestelen en ik ook weer wat van die verloren vitaliteit ervaar.



︎
Tuesday
12-01-2021 16:01

For several weeks the floor of my studio was covered with bath mats. During the cleanup process, while we were coming up with a simple design for a storage cabinet, Ids (my partner) accidentally dropped a wooden beam from his hands that landed on bath mat no. 17 (Monday; 09-11-2021; 08:15:39). The mourning process I subsequently experienced was brief. For the way in which the mat broke resonates strongly with the unconscious actions of Ids, something I also found in my roommate whose ‘vitality’ I wanted to immortalize by fixing the unconscious traces in clay.

The breakage of the bath mat eventually shattered this illusion of immortality.







Serie B

Condition: I document the bath mat when I enter and when I leave the room.



I became fascinated with how the object continues to exist when I am not there to observe it and how it molds to my roommate’s chaotic energy and therefore no longer resonates with my own. When I enter the bathroom I correct her energy by straightening the mat and in her turn my roommate crumples the mat again so the object has come to contain a non-verbal communicative value. There is a kind of absurd romance in the permanent unpredictability of my roommate’s unconscious traces nestling in the object and my ongoing desire for structure.








“How’s the bath mat doing?”
I have been getting this question a lot lately. More often than people wonder how I am doing. It seems as if the bath mat has become an entity which, in other people’s eyes, has become more important than my state of well-being.

Other than that - nice to see that people care about the bath mat.




Serie C

Condition: I document the bath mat at 09:00 in the morning and 21:00 in the evening.


Monday
18-01-2021 16:56

I may not correct the bath mat this week.
I went to the bathroom this afternoon and it was still lying there like a pile of miserable shit.





The Tissue Box

Prominent aanwezige tissuedoos
(dutch)
Onderuitgezakt in een stoel balancerend op het minuscule randje van bewustzijn, laat het lood dat door mijn aderen heen stroomt mij onherstelbaar beschadigd achter. De botten prikken door mijn huid, alsof zij hier ook niet willen zijn, en maken mij bewust van het weinig resterende vet dat mijn lichaam bekleed.

Starend naar de misselijkmakend prominent aanwezige tissuedoos, vertelt de psychiater mij dat ik ‘gewoon een schop onder mijn kont’ nodig heb. Terwijl zijn uitspraak mijn schedel binnendringt en het daar doelloos blijft rondgalmen, vraag ik mij af of de tissuedoos al gebruikt is vandaag.

Heeft de persoon hier voor mij hevig zitten janken en gretig deze tissues benut? Wat zouden de tissues hiervan vinden? Zouden zij bewust zijn van de functie waarvoor ze bestaan?