Category: Research Paper

Hyper Objects

Still in the midst of writing my research paper, I am buried in references, links and books. One of the case studies in the paper is a virtual sculpture called ‘Hyperskins’ by American video maker and artist Andrew Thomas Huang.


Hyperskins exhibits three digital sculptures cycling in an infinite loop through multiple surfaces, textural incarnations inspired by the philosophy of “hyper objects” by Timothy Morton – the idea that today’s objects lack a “discreteness” and instead are pervasive, multidimensional and ever-changing throughout phases of time, space and relative orientation to other objects independent of human consciousness.”


Timothy Morton is a member of the ‘Object-orientated ontology (OOO)’ movement, and the term ‘Hyper Objects’ is explained below;

“Morton uses the term to explain objects so massively distributed in time and space as to transcend localization, such as climate change and styrofoam.”


I fired off a message to Andrew Huang, and to my suprise he very graciously answered with a quite lengthy enlightening explanation about his piece, the book, inspiration and such subjects touched upon were The Antropocene, virtual relics, cloud data, photogrammetry and the 3D scanning of the beaver skull that sits on his mantlepiece amongst other things. I hope to use some of Andrew’s reply in my conclusion of the paper.




Borges – On Exactitude in Science

. . . In that Empire, the Art of Cartography attained such Perfection that the map of a single Province occupied the entirety of a City, and the map of the Empire, the entirety of a Province. In time, those Unconscionable Maps no longer satisfied, and the Cartographers Guilds struck a Map of the Empire whose size was that of the Empire, and which coincided point for point with it. The following Generations, who were not so fond of the Study of Cartography as their Forebears had been, saw that that vast Map was Useless, and not without some Pitilessness was it, that they delivered it up to the Inclemencies of Sun and Winters. In the Deserts of the West, still today, there are Tattered Ruins of that Map, inhabited by Animals and Beggars; in all the Land there is no other Relic of the Disciplines of Geography.

Suarez Miranda, Viajes de varones prudentes, Libro IV,Cap. XLV, Lerida, 1658.


I have created a Bibliography for my research paper reading via RefME.


Looking at it again there is far too much to read in the short time available, so will have to whittle it down, a few of these books I have, others will be accessed through the online library hopefully.

  • Baudrillard, J (1994) Simulacra and simulation. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.
  • Baxandall, M (1995) Shadows and enlightenment. New Haven: Yale University Press.
  • Bennett, J (2010) Vibrant matter: A political ecology of things. Durham: Duke University Press.
  • Bryant, L.R. (2011) The democracy of objects. Ann Arbor: Open Humanities Press.
  • Campbell, J. (2012) The hero with a thousand faces. 3rd edn. United States: New World Library.
  • Crowther, P. (2010) Phenomenology of the visual arts (even the frame). United States: Stanford University Press.
  • Cubitt, S. (2014) The practice of light: A genealogy of visual technologies from prints to pixels. United States: MIT Press.
  • Gombrich, E.H. (2014) Shadows: The depiction of cast shadows in western art. United States: Yale University Press.
  • Harman, G. (1999) ‘Tool-being: Elements in a theory of objects’ pp. 1–306.
  • Heidegger, M (2010) Being and time. Albany: State University of New York Press.
  • Johnson, R.A. (1993) Owning your own shadow: Understanding the dark side of the psyche. San Francisco: HarperCollins Publishers.
  • Jung, C.G.G. (1968) Man and his symbols. United States: Turtleback Books.
  • Jung, C.G.G. (2013) The undiscovered self. London: Routledge.
  • Jung, C.G.G.(1995) Memories, dreams, reflections. 4th edn. London: Fontana Press.
  • Lechte, J. (1994) Fifty key contemporary thinkers: From structuralism to postmodernity. New York: Routledge.
  • Merleau-Ponty (2013) Phenomenology of perception (classics series). London: Taylor & Francis.
  • Morton, T. (2013) Realist magic: Objects, ontology, causality. Ann Arbor, MI: Open Humanities Press.
  • Murdoch, I. (2001) The sovereignty of good. New York: Routledge.
  • Russell, B. (2013) The conquest of happiness. United States: Liveright Publishing.
  • Sartre, J.-P.(2003) Being and nothingness: An essay on phenomenological ontology. London: Routledge.
  • Tausig, (1993) Mimesis and Alterity: A particular history of the senses. Malden, MA: Taylor & Francis.

Note to Self:

  • Find some other suitable repository or app where I can dump quotes in as I go along, maybe Evernote?

OOO (Tutorial v4.0)

Tutor: Gareth Polmeer

I had an interesting tutorial today with Gareth Polmeer regarding the research paper I am writing. Whilst investigating reading Phenomenology and Speculative Realism I came across ‘Object-Oriented Ontology’ or OOO for short, I didn’t realise it was a ‘thing’ (excuse the pun) for years.


“…Ask yourself: what does your toaster want? How about your dog? Or the bacteria in your gut? What about the pixels on the screen you’re reading off now, how is their day going?” [1]

Theres a correlation to IoT (Internet of things) but with OOO any ‘thing’ is an object, whether living, nonliving, artificial, or conceptual-an everything.


“…over the past ten years, people in all manner of disciplines have turned to things: to matter, stuff, obdurate objects. Often loosely grouped under the rubric ‘new materialisms’ – Andrew Cole [2]

The crucial point here is that, in contrast to the dominant strains of 20th-century phenomenology that claim things are only real insofar as they are sensible to a human subject, OOO asserts a radical and imaginative realism that not only claims that things do exist beyond the purview of human conception, but that this existence is almost entirely inaccessible to our understanding.

Note to Self: