Objectivity has its place in the world. Its utility for civil policies, science and economics is clear as we must be able to make collective decisions in order to produce certain outcomes.
When thinking of, or talking about perceptions and meaning-making, objectivity becomes problematic. Perception is idiosyncratic and meaning is a social activity of co-definition, neither are fixed, and both are subject to continued interpretation and contest. Both perception and meaning making are subjective.
The objects on display are positioned between our perception and ability to make meaning. They are inconclusive, defy definition and indeed, attest to no truth about the world; they are, in this sense, fictional.
When we speak of art or define objects as art, we are making a loose reference to this problem of representation and definition. Moreover, art philosophy is the attempt to think about how to understand these problems. Outside of philosophy, meaning can be mapped by semioticians and perceptions studied by neuroscience. Both of these fields require objectivity and outcomes to make conclusions.
Art is inconclusive and inconvenient. It is simply the stimulus for the enquiry.
Social Fictions expose the objects' ability to stimulate a social interaction in relation to meaning whereby the conclusions remain fictional as they fail to be objective.
— Edward Mulvihill
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Eden and the Willow Team
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