Cite as: Marcus Coelen, Contribution to the symposium The Social Life of Things, ICI Berlin, 3–4 March 2022, video recording, mp4, 33:25 <>
3 – 4 Mar 2022


By Marcus Coelen

Video in English

Format: mp4
Length: 00:33:25
First published on:
Rights: © ICI Berlin

Part of the Symposium

The Social Life of Things

Objects are produced and exchanged, desired and transferred. While they can be said to condense and contain the ‘real’ of social relations, they never become fully transparent. Instead, problematizing oppositions between the inside and the outside, the subjective and the social, they are media for social relations and conflicts, as well as media that help constitute and transform subjects with their singular desires and forms of enjoyment. How are objects differently constructed and animated by the social and the individual? In what sense do moderns remain animist in their relation to the unconscious and to notions of ownership and property? Engaging with Monique David-Ménard’s book La Vie sociale des choses: L’Animisme et les objects (2020), this symposium seeks to explore how the always local opacity of objects entangles psychoanalysis and anthropology, philosophy and politics.


ICI Berlin
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Marcus Coelen
Monique David-Ménard
Astrid Deuber-Mankowsky
Iracema Dulley
Christoph F. E. Holzhey
Vladimir Safatle

Organized by

ICI Berlin