prose: Research day 10 - Ontological Offerings

Timothy Morton's book - 'Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the end of the world' has been on my reading radar for quite some time and I haven't as yet managed to read from cover to cover as only have a library copy. Its one of my core texts as part of my literature review for my research proposal and comes under the 'Object Orientated Ontology' stream of ideas where this 'stream name' was originally coined by Graham Harman



I am currently trying to untangle the messy chaos of my research ideas particularly the theoretical concepts/ideas which seem to be a series of Pandora's box combined with a Russian Doll syndrome, except as you get the next doll, it was bigger that the last one….

Research projects structurally are supposed to have something underpinning it known as a 'research philosophy' (development and nature of knowledge) which means that when you are conducting your research you are assuming certain ways of viewing the world. Three possible ways of reflecting on your research include: Epistemology, Ontology or Axiology - subsections of the research philosophy. And depending which philosophy you use, it will affect the E - O - A elements. [1]

I was thinking about the relationship between the Morton text and its ontological based ideas questioning how we see climate change as an object and the research philosophy idea with respect to my own research.

I am looking at the nature of reality of how something which is non-human is considered and viewed, which in this case is algae. Through questioning and critiquing how we consider 'objects' such as algae through an alternative lens is a way to engage in ecological critique from a number of angles. Firstly, taking a more non-anthro centred view; moving away from the 'us is here' and 'nature' is over there idea;  agency in matter and the material; extension of the situated-ness of the human and the body in and through other matter.

Through the this line of thinking, perhaps the way we see what is around is and the perception of that which initially seems as just 'there' and elusive in manner is in fact far more potent. 

So what is the point of this added form of reality consideration? By rethinking that which surround in and around us, perhaps we can start to really see what the environment and ecology might be and behave more ethically and respectful towards it as well as trying to overcome the fallacy that somehow we as humans are the beginning, the middle and the end. 

Through looking at cyanotypes I came across these by Lynette Miller- ghostly forms of bottles, through remains and traces of a negative image whilst being able to see through the objects to the other side and then you wonder from that side, what would the view/perspective be? It then led me to think about multiple realities but it is only the 1 which I can perceive at any one time. Me and the relationship with the object.

The transparent nature of the image also brings forth this x-ray like quality and the sense of revealing - bringing forth what is normally the invisible.

Lynette Miller - Cyanotypes work [1]
[1] Hilary Collins, Creative Research (Lausanne: AVA Academia, 2010).   

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