Blog: Object Culture Part II

Christine Alfery

Posted on February 16 2021

Blog: Object Culture Part II

Featured image: Yellow Vase with Flowers

Object culture stresses instant gratification. It is like a McDonalds Happy Meal culture. Object culture wants the best of everything, the best science, the best technology, the best job, the best family, the best house on the block, the best lawn. It does not stop and ask, “Is this a satisfying life that I have established and am trying to maintain?”

I have a very successful professional artist friend who also teaches. He tells a story of a question that one of his students asked him in class one day. He was talking about his new studio, new supplies, successful blog and Youtube channel and explaining to his students how to market their work if they want to make a living at it. One of his students asked him, “But are you satisfied with that life? “ He said that he immediately answered, “Of course. Look at what it allows me to do. Look at what it pays for.”

And there, in a nutshell, is the heart of object culture. What tradeoffs are made? What is the price we pay? What do we give up with our work when it becomes an object? Especially, when it becomes an object during the process of creating.

We need to ask ourselves this question. And when we do, we need to listen. Listen truthfully to the answer and then ask ourselves, ”Is the work real? Am I real? Or are we both objects of our culture? And is that ok with me like it is for my professional friend, or not?”

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