Object and Photographic Performances
Oakwood, felt, Steel
This collection is still in progress (Soon to be shown at B Galleria, Turku, FI)

Present-At-Hand centers on the authenticity of human interaction with the world. I am intrigued by a form of interaction that stems from having just one piece of information about something: the knowledge of its existence. This interaction might lose its purity and authenticity when we learn more about the object. It’s possible that this particular form of interaction is only attainable for an infant, experiencing everything for the first time, or perhaps if an alien were to visit our planet.

That being said, for me, designing and crafting this collection of objects serves as a way to practice a phenomenological interaction with the world. I borrowed the project’s title from Heidegger’s philosophy on being in the world and experiencing it through objects. He argues that when an object’s functionality is not the primary concern, it shifts from being ‘ready-to-hand’ to ‘present-at-hand.’ In other words, when an object can fulfill its intended function seamlessly, it becomes almost transparent as we use it to achieve a purpose. However, when something disrupts this functionality, the object becomes conspicuous and reveals itself. We start to relate to it as an alien thing that captures our attention in its own right. The object announces its pure ‘present-at-hand’ nature rather than merely being a means to an end. Therefore, ‘present-at-hand’ can be seen as a step closer to the authentic encounter with the world I mentioned earlier.

In this context, the idea behind this collection is to draw attention to an authentic ‘present-at-hand’ experience through a series of objects. It explores questions such as: How does the mind perceive shapes when interacting with these objects for the first time? Does it attempt to find similarities with familiar objects as a reference for understanding and discussing them? Or is it possible to have a non-referential encounter with them? To what extent can our hands interact independently of the mind’s influence when engaging with objects? These are some of the questions I aim to explore.