If I Were a Hoarder

A compendium of all the intriguing detritus, all the irresistible bargains and all the wondrous objects that might clutter my studio today if I were a hoarder

Hazmat Worker Sees No Reason To Throw Away All This Perfectly Good Food

DALLAS—Claiming he would hate to see a carton of unspoiled milk and an entire loaf of bread go to waste, hazardous materials removal worker Jonathan Parker reportedly saw no reason Friday to throw away perfectly good food while disinfecting the apartment of an Ebola-stricken patient. “This pork roast can’t be more than a couple days old,” said Parker, lamenting the idea that a large hunk of parmesan cheese, fine-looking grapes, and a full head of cauliflower would be destroyed and deposited in a remote biohazard disposal site. “These eggs definitely look like they’re still pretty fresh. And that container of yogurt doesn’t expire for three more weeks—and it’s blueberry, too.” At press time, Parker was reportedly spotted carefully placing several grocery bags full of snacks and fresh produce in the trunk of his car.

Related: “A Very Nice Pumpkin

As Debts Pile Up, an Artist and His Work Face Eviction in Paris | Aida Alamioct

The city offered him a small apartment, but he turned it down because it could not hold even a tenth of his artwork, he said. Now, he has a few days to pack up, not nearly enough time, he says, to move and relocate decades of artwork.

“What is asked from me is physically impossible,” Mr. Le Yaouanc said recently, shirtless as always when he works, and pulling on his long white beard. He strongly believes he should have been given more time to pay back his debts and keep his apartment. “How can a country of rights, one which says it cares about art, ask such a thing from a citizen?”

Originally from Alençon, in Normandy, he says he has sacrificed his life to his work in this apartment in the Marais, the epicenter of bourgeois bohemian. It is so crammed that natural light no longer finds its way inside. His bed is nestled in a dark corner among hundreds of paintings, sculptures and collages.

CFP: So-called waste': Forms of Excess in Post-1960 Art, Film, and Literature

Visual art, film, and literature since 1960 has been marked by leftovers, repetitions, and time lags, despite emerging in a climate of accelerated technological development and the erasure of leisure time. From artworks that incorporate the trash and detritus of consumerist excess to novels and films that indulge in narrative ‘time-wasting,’ the cultural production of the last fifty years has revelled in the wasteful and excessive. This event asks: what are the aesthetics of excess? What are its material, temporal and figurative manifestations? Is artistic time-wasting a radical form of resistance to the capitalist imperative to be productive? Or do art’s glorious expenditures reinforce aesthetic hierarchies that privilege ‘difficulty’? We invite 20-minute papers from postgraduates and early-career researchers that engage with waste and excess in post-1960 art, literature, and film. Possible topics include (but are not limited to) the following:

-  Narrative: digressions; footnotes and marginalia; listing; repetition; the non-event; the filler; reality effects

-  Queer theory: the concept of the queer subject as embodying non-(re)productivity; queer temporalities; drag and camp as recycling

-  The body: labour; time-wasting and protest

-  Feminism: the gendered dynamics of lack and excess

-  Economic surplus: abstraction; financial markets; concepts of utility and value

-  Digital waste: big data; information overload; archive fever

-  Cold War politics: nuclear waste; abundance and wasting as critical tactics

The event will follow a workshop format, with a paper by Dr. Amanda Boetzkes (University of Alberta) and a screening and discussion led by Dr. Karl Schoonover (University of Warwick). Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words and a brief biography to the organisers, Stephanie Lambert (sjl519@york.ac.uk) and Amy Tobin (at548@york.ac.uk), by 15/12/14. General enquiries are also welcome. This event is free to attend, but places are limited; please e-mail to reserve a place.

Reminder: More Things Theory: On Hoarding, Hoarders, and Hoards - Abstracts due 10/15!

“More Things Theory” continues the dialogue that began at the 2014 ACLA “Things Theory: Accumulation and Amassment” seminar to reflect on the recent emergence of a marked cultural interest in hoarding. We will consider the contemporary invention of the hoarder within a broader literary and cultural context that encompasses other figures defined by their attachments to things (collectors, fetishists, misers), and/or by a horror of wasting and/or subsistence on waste (ragpickers, gleaners). 

The seminar will also address theoretical questions about the aesthetics of hoarding: What narrative and stylistic features suggest the act of hoarding, and/or the hoard? What temporalities are implicit in or produced by the collection, archive, or hoard, and what are the narrative implications of such temporalities? What aesthetic or ideological work is performed by the representation of a multitude of objects? What ideas about uselessness, waste, ruination, decay, and squalor are at stake in contemporary hoarding discourse? We also welcome papers that consider hoarding in relation to digital technologies, and reflect on the possibility of digital hoarding. 

We welcome new papers from participants in last year’s seminar and new submissions.

CFP: More Things Theory: On Hoarding, Hoarders, and Hoards | American Comparative Literature Association

“More Things Theory” continues the dialogue that began at the 2014 ACLA “Things Theory: Accumulation and Amassment” seminar to reflect on the recent emergence of a marked cultural interest in hoarding. We will consider the contemporary invention of the hoarder within a broader literary and cultural context that encompasses other figures defined by their attachments to things (collectors, fetishists, misers), and/or by a horror of wasting and/or subsistence on waste (ragpickers, gleaners). 

The seminar will also address theoretical questions about the aesthetics of hoarding: What narrative and stylistic features suggest the act of hoarding, and/or the hoard? What temporalities are implicit in or produced by the collection, archive, or hoard, and what are the narrative implications of such temporalities? What aesthetic or ideological work is performed by the representation of a multitude of objects? What ideas about uselessness, waste, ruination, decay, and squalor are at stake in contemporary hoarding discourse? We also welcome papers that consider hoarding in relation to digital technologies, and reflect on the possibility of digital hoarding. 

We welcome new papers from participants in last year’s seminar and papers from new participants.

Organized by Rebecca Falkoff (NYU) and Kimberly Adams (NYU)

Submit an abstract here.

Anonymous asked: Hey man, just wondering where you got the Eminem plush, that thing is sweet! You wanna sell me it bro? Phil.

Hey — I don’t know. That’s a re-blogged picture, so I have no relation to the Eminem plush. If the real owner is out there… Please stand up! 

Why “Discard Studies”? Why not “Waste Studies”?

Max Liboiron’s new post on Discard Studies. 

"Thing Theory: How Objects Speak" Peter Miller for the Chronicle of Higher Education

"There seems to be a latent feeling in our time—an emotion that needs to be recognized and attended to—that objects are somehow the past they narrate, and thus bring both the object and the narrative of the past much closer to the beholder’s eye."

[…]

It’s tempting to attribute the turn in our relationship to things to their imminent demise: The digital, far from killing the material world, seems only to have intensified our attachment to it. But the human interplay with stuff is very, very old. We have not only tools but specially crafted ones, from more than a million years ago. Would those who had seen a hominid patiently knap a stone to make a hand ax, while carefully positioning a fossil in its exact center, not have associated him with the making of this extraordinary creation long after his death? Were not those who stood before the walls of Troy stripping armor from the dead seeking a souvenir, a materialized means of remembering? In a way, the more intimate the attachment to the person, the more the person remains in the object. Anyone who has ever cleared out a dead parent’s closet can remember the vivid sharpness of memory that some ordinary thing, entirely unexpectedly, elicits.”

"Objects speak to us through the memories that belong to them—the more we know of the lives they have lived, the more loudly they speak. That is the "how." But why do objects speak?

Soltanto il cervello pleistocenico della borghesuccia pensa la casa come un oggetto (pacco postale) avulso della coesistenza infinita.

—Carlo Emilio Gadda, Meditazione milanese