“We begin to confront the thingness of objects when they stop working for us: when the drill breaks, when the car stalls, when the windows get filthy, when their flow within the circuits of production and distribution, consumption and exhibition, has been arrested, however momentarily. The story of objects asserting themselves as things, then, is the story of a changed relation to the human subject and thus the story of how the thing really names less an object than a particular subject-object relation. And, yet, the word things holds within it a more audacious ambiguity.”
--Bill Brown, “Thing Theory”
via verbal privilege
this explains so much. frex, why I scream at my printer when the ink cartridge conks out on me the night before the paper is due. it's DEFYING me! bastard!