Actions in inaction: Flexibility, Passive reinforcement and Physicality
Object-oriented feminism (OOF) anchors object-oriented ontology in a non-ontological position that embraces speculative realism and new materialism. Its intervention into philosophical discourses opens the acceptance of wrongness, which affords OOF dynamic aperspectival objectivity for adopting multiple sometimes contradictory perspectives through its programmability in politics, erotics and ethics.
As Sara Ahmed writes in her “queer phenomenology”, “being oriented towards something is ‘to take up’ that thing as a thing, but being oriented around something is to be ‘taken up’ by a thing so that that thing becomes the very ‘content’ of one’s being or action”. The notion of ‘being taken up’ appropriately addresses the approximability of OOF towards a progressive analysis and decoding of physical objects. Similarly, the new materialism reveals underlying methodology that is often manifested through scientific experimentation with all manner of objects about time, identity and subatomic quantum phenomena.
In Morton’s definition of hyperobject, all objects perform an internal deviant self-differing, which in his words, is concluded as the immanent characteristics as hypocrisy, weakness and lameness. This recoiling mechanism resonates with OOF’s assenting to erotic self-erasure, insistent self- implication and meticulous modesty. Taking the perspective of OOF, according to the immanence of hyperobject, all objects are also intrinsically characterised with flexibility, passive reinforcement and physicality, compared to hypocrisy, weakness and lameness. The quality of “flexibility” responds to one of OOF’s key methodology as the evoking of humour. The adoption of humour has become less frequent among scientists, theorists and philosophers. In contrast, it has often emerged in artistic practices to deviate philosophical and ontological value from its unavoidable severity to a tender approach of self-implication. Furthermore, compared to “weakness”, the notion of passive reinforcement admits its weakness by passively fomenting the given objectivity from the social-ethical-economical contexts. By breaking through the overarching reductionist mechanism, such as Bratton’s model of the six layers of stack, the passive reinforcement collectively transforms the individual weakness to the automatisation of non-linear complexity of connected networks. The weakness could hence be passively reinforced by non-human agencies that derived from algorithmic prowess in democratising segmented units. Last but not least, taking Whiteheadian’s idea of panpsychism, the lameness of objects are enabled to ascend to its imperceivable physicality. In new materialism, especially the domain of subatomic physics and quantum phenomena, the invocation of concrete evidence is constrained by the progression of technological advancement. The objectivity of materials deflects the perceivable from lameness to physicality, whereas physicality constantly evolves as the relevant theories and experimentation are propelled. OOF facilitates the processing of objective cognition through its intervention to approach all objects from the inside-out position of being an object. Fortuitously, the same notion has occurred in the main doctrine of Taoism as there is no fixed or right(wrong) perspectival objectivity that manifests the truth of any objects. Therefore, aligned with OFF, the fragmentation of the pathway to approach truth can only be an amalgamation of epiphenomena arisen in-between “being oriented to something” and “being orientated around something”.
The deviation of OOF from ontological speculation to the rejection of noninterventionists has shed light upon the progression in a modest manner to achieve non-anthropocentrism. The political arrangement, the realism of self-possession and relation as well as the object-hood as a situational orientation should result in making us apprehend and alter objects’ intersectional prospects for self-determination, solidarity and resistance.