Every day this week, Radio Four will air “Objects of Desire” at 12.04, which explores some of the main concerns of Material Culture Studies:
This is the story of how the things we accumulate around us say more than we might imagine about who we are.
“The fate of the object,” said the French thinker Jean Baudrillard, “has been claimed by no-one.” Unless, of course, the object in question is the Mona Lisa or the Albert Jewel. In these programmes, Matthew Sweet will be looking at the other stuff. The cups. The spoons. The knick-knacks. The things we might keep, even if we don’t quite have the room for them.
Through the prism of what people have in their homes, Objects of Desire explores the work of sociologists and anthropologists like Pierre Bourdieu and Mary Douglas, and philosopher Gaston Bachelard, in order to understand the curious mixture of display, memory, emotion and chance that informs the objects we surround ourselves with.
Episode One: Such Stuff. In which Matthew Sweet talks to Sioned (who has lots of stuff) and to Jordan (who has much less) and explores the philosophical and anthropological background to our relationship with things with academics Bill Brown and Daniel Miller.