KRAUSS/EISENMAN VS. LATOUR/HARMAN ON OBJECTS
[Rosalind] Krauss has said that to preserve the singularity of objects we must cut them off from their previous modes of legitimation. This idea will be seen to be important to any project of autonomy (p. 90).
This is completely counter to Bruno Latour’s description of objects (he calls them “actants” to remove the connotation of passivity), which is that they become progressively more singular as they increase their attachments. Harman describes Latour’s position:
Actants are always completely deployed in their relations with the world, and the more they are cut off from these relations, the less real they become (p. 19).
Krauss’s statement (and Eisenman’s use of it) seem naïve to me. Overcoming oppressive modes of legitimation and authority is great, but to extend this to the general claim that objects are more themselves by being more cut off is essentialism.