Philosophy of things


We would like to point out today to the forth coming 12th edition of the Philosophy Festival  taking place in the marvellous cities of Modena, Carpi and Sassuolo (Italy) from the 14th to the 16th of September 2012. In fact this year’s overall theme focuses on the various facets of the contemporary theme of things, questioning, among others, the issues of the “thing itself”, the status of production and its processes, the implications of consumption, the fetish character assumed by things and the passions that they arouse.

Modena, Piazza Grande
photo by Baracchi, Campanini

Carpi, Piazza Martiri
photo by Baracchi, Campanini

The perspectives are extremely wide, and range from more philosophical approaches that reflect on things in relation to culture, such as Remo Bodei’s intervention that will focus on how individuals and society place emotional, conceptual and symbolic investment on them to John Searle’s presentation of his theory of ‘social objects’, which deals with how objects establish the common reality through language.

More literary related to the jewellery field will be the reflections around the relations between mass production, crafts and art, which will be debated through the interventions of Andrea Branzi, who will focus on the position of design in the Italian tradition, and of Richard Sennet who will focus on the common matrices of the craft and the artistic process. How the contemporary consumerist society becomes industry of identity, brand and ultimately of culture will be discussed by Scott Lash, while Fulvio Carmagnola and Vanni Coderre will deal with how the landscape of the present age is moreover dominated by a symbolic system in which the goods, as well as their use value and exchange, are valuable especially in relation to what they represent, in a society that is increasingly spectacularized.

On a more anthropological tone will be Marc Augé, retracing some African religions, to find in the “god object”, ie in the fetish itself, forms and challenges that belong to the contemporary world. Marino Niola will focus his attention back on the power of objects – of religion, of art or hi-tech – revealing their character as masks. Then Krzysztof Pomian will place the issue more in the field of moral theories, thus reconstructing the logic of collecting and the way collectable objects make visible the invisible of social relations.

This is just a taste of the topics touched by this extremely interesting festival, that will be crowned by a variety of events, from exhibitions to installations, from vintage markets to films and documentaries’ projections, from concerts to children’s programs.

Click here to download the programme and here for the general website with all sorts of information.

Lisa Kereszi. Joe’s Junkyard, Modena Galleria Metronom

The birth of unexpected things. Workshop for children and families, Modena, Palazzo dei Musei

Alone against all, Carpi, Piazza Garibaldi

Short on work, Modena, Auditorium Marco Biagi

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