For Speculations: The Journal of Object Oriented Philosophy. Thank you to Paul John Ennis for adopting this image.
Pencil and gouache on paper
16cm x 27cm
© 2009 Tammy Lu
”When it comes to the ‘vertical’ relation between real objects and their accessibility to others, the real object is always something more than the translated distortion through which it is encountered. That is why the real object is said to withdraw from all access, in a manner to which Heidegger alerts us better than anyone else. But the situation is different with the ‘horizontal’ relations between the two kinds of objects and their respective qualities. Here, the object is always less than the features through which it is known. For on the sensual level the tree has a core or eidos that cares nothing for the specific angle or degree of shadow through which it is grasped at any moment. And on the real level, the object is not fully green or smooth or brittle, but unites these traits in a specific and limited fashion, so that any quality is an exaggeration of sorts even with respect to real objects. In fact, we might say that both the real and sensual objects are completely unified, with all of their qualities compressed together in bulk: ‘thistreeness’, for instance. This unified quality becomes pluralized only by leaking off elsewhere into a different quadrant of reality. This can easily be seen from the intentional realm, where a tree is a vaguely grasped unity that becomes plural only through its specific appearance (accidents) or through an intellectual grasp of its most crucial features (eidos). Otherwise, a sensual tree or a wolf per se remain inarticulate blocks or vague feeling-things for the one who encounters them.”
Graham Harman, Prince of Networks: Bruno Latour and Metaphysics (2009)