I. The distinction between ordinary and metaphorical language is based on a conception of language as a medium for communication conveying true or false statements. This presumed clear demarcation between ordinary and metaphorical sentences collapses in Davidson's view that a metaphor's meaning is its literal meaning: there is no hidden or additional, new or extended, figurative meaning in metaphors, rather meaning lies on the surface. Davidson also dismisses understanding metaphor as an ambiguous or contextually dependent utterance. The problem of production and interpretation of metaphors is revisited

in terms of what words mean and what they do, as Davidson assigns metaphors to the realm of language usage. Anyone attempting the interpretation of a metaphor cannot simply paraphrase to convey the metaphor's meaning; as far as analytic truth is concerned, metaphors are usually false. In interpreting metaphors, one would instead show what is brought to attention.

Davidson's definition of metaphor as seeing as, and not as seeing that, explains that metaphors provide insight by making visible one thing as another.

II. The crisis or denial of representation by the dismissal of the artistic conception of the work in the interpretative frame of figure/content, for Sontag, indicates the modern motivation to escape the interpretative quest for meaning. To experience and show how, even show that, things-being-what-they-are, one has to drop the pretence of interpretation, which takes for granted the work's sensory experience.

In Camp, which is a sort of aestheticism of primarily stylistic concerns, characterised by a preoccupation with artificiality, the exaggerated, things-being-what-they-are-not, takes prominence. Sontag argues that Camp does not depend on a construction of a literal and a symbolic meaning, but on the difference between things meaning something and things as pure artifice: "it is one way of seeing the world as an aesthetic phenomenon".  Again, reducing content is the task at hand to allow someone to see the thing at all.

Unlike the novel, film's formal vocabulary offers other than content material for analysis.


Davidson, Donald, "What Metaphors Mean". In Critical Inquiry, Vol. 5, No. 1, 1978.

Sontag, Susan, Against Interpretation, London and New York: Penguin Books, 2013 (1964).




You and Me and

Everything Around Us




Eileen and her husband, Norman, bought the house as their first and only family home. Over time, the house hosted members of their extended family, including their numerous grandchildren. Eileen collected objects as memoirs and used them as home decorations. Although they were of no significant actual value, the objects had sentimental value for Eileen, who spent her days watching reality television shows and reading the tabloid press. She often complained about foreigners moving into the area and changing the old neighbourhood.

Originally from Bow, East London, Eileen was raised Christian Catholic by her mother, who had grown up in a Catholic East London poor house. Eileen kept detailed photographic albums of her mother's family, depicting their close ties with the Bow Catholic community.

Eileen, or "nana", "nan", passed away a year after the video was made. The house was sold soon aftrewards.

Lauren, Eileen's granddaughter and a Swiss citizen, was in London for work. Lauren stayed in one of the house's rooms, where she pinned up her photos with her boyfriend and her youngest sister, Angelique.

Lauren moved out of the house.  She left a post-it note expressing her disappointment about her boyfriend not feeling welcomed in Eilleen's house. Lauren also left behind several personal decorative objects.

Sean, Eileen's grandson, also occupied the house. Sean had already spent some his childhood in Eileen's house, so he felt it was partly his home. Sean took short trips with the artist to the nearby forest. They once found there a tree decorated with Christmas toys.

A British couple was looking to purchase their first home in a reality television show. Reality shows about real estate have been popular in British television. They document the story of a couple hunting for a bargain.

I make things because I am curious. The wrapped up violin was the only art object in the house.

It was an object of love lost. Sean made the object when he separated from his former girlfriend.




1. Grounded on a core belief in the inherent goodness of people, transcendentalism privileges subjective intuition over objective empiricism. In art transcendentalism can manifest as a non-dualistic process,

which unites thinking, as intellect, with spirit in the art making.  There cannot be any recognisable division between high art (techne) and low art (technique).
2. A musical instrument, like the violin, offers an example of the conception of transcendentalism with regard to techne and technique. The violin is a technical tool, an instrument for the musician with which he makes art. When it is out of use, depending on the context in which it is intuited, be it topological or temporal, the intrument itself can become an artwork.

3. The violin as an artwork is also an inanimate object interacting with the ‘I’/eye: when we look at the object, the object looks back at us. The ‘I’/eye that is photo-graphed by a world of inanimate objects reconstitutes the subject as a being-in-the-(spectacle-of-the-)world.
4. This subjective process adheres an aesthetic quality to thinking: as intellect inseparable from spirit,

but also as an ontological experience.
5. The temporality of the ontological experience of being-in-the-(spectacle-of-the-)world, in environments, with others, is dependent upon the temporal attachment to objects. In this sense, environments can become evolving over time systems.

6. It is inferred from the above that evolving systems can be intuited. Consequently, it is also argued that

a transcendentalist approach is characterised by a belief in the ability of individuals to generate original insights with little attention to past masters.