«Charisma and Causality»

What if art were a kind of magic? One of the thinkers associated with ‘object-oriented ontology’ argues that we’ve been thinking wrongly about art since the beginning of the Anthropocene, from the November issue

By Timothy Morton

For object-oriented ontology (OOO), art is far from a superficial and exclusively human-flavoured region of reality. Whatever human art is, it is telling us something very deep about the structure of how things are: ‘the structure of how things are’ being a pretty good paraphrase of the word ‘ontology’. Indeed, one of the things that art is telling us – that we still allow it (as opposed to what we expect from science textbooks, for instance) to tell us, perhaps – is something profound about the very workings of causality itself. OOO thinks of art not as decoration, but as the fundamental operation of cause and effect. To make an artwork is to interfere directly with the realm of causes and effects.