Monday, February 8, 2010

Thinking About “Things” — Tuesday, March 2, An Evening With Philosopher, Mark Tazelaar

Photograph by Paul Hanaoka

An open AIGA Dordt College Student Group Event:
In 1960, for his piece titled Pilgrim, artist Robert Rauschenberg literally combined a chair with a painting in a way that challenges our assumptions about art. Was Rauschenberg negating the traditional dichotomy between the design of ordinary objects and fine art? Does Rauschenberg’s piece compel us to think about the function and meaning of things in a different way?

To help us sort through these questions we’ve asked Dordt philosophy professor Mark Tazelaar to be our guest presenter/facilitator. The event will be on Tuesday evening, March 2 at 7 pm. in the art department studio CL1223. Professor Tazelaar will lead us in discussion of philosopher Martin Heidegger’s (1889-1976) views about the nature of objects and things.

According to Professor Tazelaar:

“Heidegger talks about ‘things’ in many essays and lectures, from his earliest lectures in the early 20s to his final seminars in the 60s. The things he interprets are familiar, everyday things like tables, hammers, shoes, bridges, and jugs (It may sound odd to hear ‘interpreting a hammer or table’ — or maybe not. Artists and designers will probably have a better sense for the appropriateness of that word than a natural or social scientist will. In any case, I’ll have to talk a bit about that too.). In short, there is a wealth of material to draw upon. I'll restrict myself for the most part to two essays by Heidegger: ‘The Thing’ and ‘Building Dwelling Thinking.’ In these essays he talks a lot about the nature of a thing, focusing on jugs and bridges. Whether or not you agree with Heidegger, I can almost guarantee that you will not think about bridges, tables, jugs and milk cartons in the same way as you did before.”

All art, graphic design, pre-architecture, engineering, and philosophy students are encouraged to attend this event.


  1. Hello, hope you can help! I have been following your blog for a while now and this post is a great help for my final project in BA and I would love to attend the talk. Only problem is I'm from the UK and it would be impossible for me to attend :( was wondering if you would be filming or recording the event? As I would be greatful for any feedback from the talk.

    Hope you can help.
    *alternative contact -

  2. Is this talk open to the public or is it only for students?

  3. Thanks Brad.

    This event is open to the public and all are welcome to attend. If you need directions please let me know.

    Per Anna's comment (above) we'll be taping the event.


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