# 3 Object Oriented Philosophy and Gesture

In Graham Harman’s OOP, all relations between objects form new objects, and these objects do not necessarily have a sustantive unity that coheres them as one in a phenomenal world. Harman writes: “two vicariously linked real objects do form a new object, since they generate a new internal space” (‘On Vicarious Causation’, Collapse II, 2007, p. 191).

The object formed by the gaze of a human to another object resists phenomenality – but this does not mean for Harman that it has no form. It is still an object. This seems to be a radical materialist philosophy which privileges forms over metaphysical anti-matter. What does this mean for thought? As Malabou shows in her work of the plasticity of the brain, any thought changes the material composition of the central nervous system. So it seems thought is material for both neuroscience and object oriented philosophy…

More to the point, I wonder what constitutes an object for Harman? Why call “internal spaces” objects? Isn’t it somewhat overwrought? Where lie the limits of one individual object and how are composite objects assembled to take on an integrative reality of their own?

If gestures give form, they give it in their relation to something. The gesture is in this sense an object, giving a relation to another object, be it a biological composite-being or vibrant matter, whatever really. So this gives an interesting question: for me to exoress the form(s) of gesture, what is the privileged or least distancing scheme? For someone like Alain Badiou, language does not possess the unique access to the relations which form objects. He prefers the meta-language of mathematics, as the pure means of subtracting ontological difference from the void; the symbol for nothingness. For someone like Harman however, language performs that function. He is against Badiou’s call for a return to classicist philosophy (i.e. the return to mathematical problems and ontology). I need to get into this more perhaps. What Badiou and Harman share is a very interesting point concerning the infinity of being and the finitude of the grounded object, but I’m not sure if it will be of any use for my thesis.

Another thing: if every new relation forms an object, it only resists the total relationism it rejects through the horizon
of withdrawal it concomitantly posits, where there are ontologically necessary holes within the relational matrix. So, if this enterprise is not a new integrated totality, maybe I’m just as good keeping to aporetic philosophies such as Derrida’s, Nancy’s and Agamben’s.


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