October 11, 2014



Essays on Virtual and real space, Elizabeth Grosz

Through this extract this is what I understand about “the thing”.
This is primarily an inert materiality according to Kant. But his perception evolves and then the thing represents all biological phenomena related to our interventions in nature. The thing then refers to a biological materiality.
The thing would be the generator of biological phenomena that we can not control.

Elizabeth Grosz also exposes us the Darwing’s point of view on the thing, that is a different version of Kant.
For him the thing is indeed something not alive, but is in perpetual motion and evolution.

“It Has a life of its own”.
The thing for him is both the result of our actions on the world to fit our needs, but also what pushes us to create and produce new things, new objects of technology.

In space and time, the thing is for him characterized by the transformation between two states. The thing can not be defined as an object, “space and time contextualize the thing”.
The notions of space and time are very important to capture the essence of the thing because it is everywhere at any time, and all that surrounds us, the reality of the world is in perpetual motion. “Reality is mobile.” The thing never stops in a state but is “only states in process of change.”

Bergson explains that, contrary to the instinct which drives us to use natural objects as they are, intelligence, which are endowed humans pushes them to use the same elements of nature to build specific objects constantly transformable according to our needs. It is in this sense that the process of thing that even a state of being to another, makes us more intelligent, because it is the result of an effort and a reflection.
“Human Produce Instruments That The body must learn to Accommodate.”

The objects we create are a response to our vulnerability, and have become so required in our quotidian life, they became like our own natural tools (those of our body) and are as true prosthetic extensions of our bodies . That is why the thing is also “the provocation” of our desires.

So it seems interesting to ask some questions that relate instinct, intelligence and technological objects.

This is why I chose to take the food in general as my thing. How the humans by their intelligence have exceeded their primary need to eat for survive and have done of the food a technological object perpetually in evolution. And because the perpetual motion of thing which stimulates our intelligence to always go further, the humans are now constantly to the research of new tastes, textures, smells…

Cook and transform the first nature of a product is became today a real art and a job requiring a lot of knowledge. This is became a source of innovation that men seems to want keep for them. Indeed, as I said in my previous text, the cooking’s world is mainly occupied by men in the professional sphere. And it is interesting when you think that culturally the kitchen is the space of the “mistress of the house”, in other words the woman, and that she manipulates the same tools and transforms the same things that the men.

Even if the same thing is in the same time masculine and feminine, humans have the need to create a gender distinction. Why to cook at home would be more feminine than to cook in a restaurant, is it not the same activity ? Does the military atmosphere in restaurant has been created for that ? To masculinise the activity of cook ?In the same time, more and more women work in restaurants and restaurants world start now to be more open to the domestic world, with the apparition of home chefs for example.


Elise Dorby

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