The Object Abstracted from Its Function

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At the beginning of the reading, Baudrillard’s theory in The Non-Functional System, or Subjective Discourse describes objects as having two functions; to be possessed as pure object and to be put to use as a functional entity. If the object is utilitarian it is given a social status. When it is object qua object, it can become part of a collection to only be looked upon, in total subjectivity.

After our discussion in recitation I began to think about Siki’s relationship to this theory in his own fashion collection. How he bridges this gap between function and non-function in his garments and brand ethos is something to consider. With a background in architecture and furniture design as well as a penchant for robots and machines, Siki identified with the scientific structural and functional aspects of design in his S/S 15 HUMAN/MACHINE. The human element was seen in other abstract visuals that he also favored, such as the cheesy tie-dye designs of 1970’s California skate scene. What Siki did in his garments was extract the functional aspect of the object (Machine/Robot) and translate that use into a pure object (collection). Yes the garments do have a new function of being adorned, but the mechanical and technological status of the machine (the mathematical folds etc) have been re appropriated into a simpler design concept. That of fashion.

As Siki told us from the start of the lecture, what he describes and reveals to us is what HE believes. There is not one universal truth, it is just what he thinks. There is thought to what he does, but we must remember that it’s just clothes after all. After months of talking about the problematic concepts behind brands, designers, clothes, theory, integrity, consumption, and fast fashion, it was nice to be reminded that not everything has to have a problematic aspect to it. I can like something for it being an object qua object and that is it.

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