Saturday, June 12, 2010

OOR Beginnings

Jim Brown has a post up summarizing the OOR panel at RSA that I (somewhat) promised to discuss here. Since I’ve been ridiculously busy since I’ve gotten back from Minneapolis, I was glad to see the conversation still continuing here and a few OOO responses by Bogost and Harman (and here).

As for my own impressions of the papers on the panel, I think Jim is, for the most part, spot on in his summaries. He and I had an interesting discussion about OOO (over a few pints, of course) so I know his interest in the subject. But (and I don’t think this is pressed enough in his post or in others) OOR is in its beginning stages right now. In other words, we have not made a case in rhetoric for an Object-Oriented approach. Why is OOR needed? What would an OOR allow us to discuss that other rhetorics would not? And, finally what would an OOR look like? These questions are only now being asked and answers being attempted. So, while it might seem easy to "laugh" or "scoff" at these first attempts (and their comments), they are just that - first attempts.

So for me, Scot Barnett’s introduction along with Byron Hawk’s presentation, were of interest because they allowed me to see where other rhetoricians might approach OOO. That’s not to say that I completely agree with where they came from (mostly Harman’s Guerrilla Metaphysics and Prince of Networks) and what they argued (since Meillassoux’s work only figured in tangentially, and it seemed Latour took center stage), but that rhetoric is making such an attempt – and for that I am extremely excited.

Also in my discussions with Robert Leston, before and after his presentation, I felt like his perspective might actually link up nicely (though not completely) with a lot of the work Levi is doing in his Onticology. So that should be interesting, especially with the release of Democracy of Objects, but also if Robert decides to write something furthering his thoughts on Deleuze.

Anyway, I hope the discourse continues, as the panel really pushed me to write my dissertation over OOR. It will be exciting to see the reactions, responses, and translations of OOO in rhetoric.