On Disobedient Objects

Inside/Outside Europe

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‘To disobey in order to take action is the byword of all creative spirits. The history of human progress amounts to a series of Promethean acts. But autonomy is also attained in the daily workings of individual lives by means of many small Promethean disobediences, at once clever, well thought out, and patiently pursued, so subtle at times as to avoid punishment entirely…’ (Gaston Bachelard ‘Prometheus’ Fragments of Poetics of Fire 1961)

During a week of feverish debate on the upcoming Scottish referendum, I took a couple of hours to visit the exhibition Disobedient Objects at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The rising support for a YES vote in Scotland framed as protest (disobedience to a centralized Westminster power?) by the majority of UK and international media as well as political elites both in the UK and across Europe – the Spanish PM’s Rajoy’s intervention mid-week to…

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