Posted by: Johan Normark | May 6, 2010

Relations vs objects in archaeology, pt 1

An interesting discussion concerning relations and objects has taken place for a while between Adrian Ivakhiv at Immanence and Graham Harman at Object-Oriented Philosophy. They have declared cease fire now. However, as Levi Bryant at Larval Subjects argues, this is “no longer a debate between realists and anti-realists, but between two competing realist theories of existence.” Both “camps” are largely influenced by the same philosophers but apparently have different views and I will attempt to discuss this distinction and its relevance for archaeology in future posts.

This difference more or less mirrors the distinction I see between “symmetrical archaeology” (at Archaeolog) and my own version of neomaterialistic archaeology. Hence, my view leans toward relations (and Ivakhiv) and symmetrical archaeology towards objects (and Harman and Bryant). I’ll see if I am on the right track or if it just a minor difference.

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