Over twenty years ago I edited a book Reading Things, it's long, long out of print, although an extract from the introduction was recently republished in The Object, edited by Anthony Hudek, produced by the Whitechapel and MIT Press, 2014.
With my recent interest in Stephen Wright's provocation Towards a Lexicon of Usership, maker libraries and fab-labs, I thought to publish a version of the introductionReading Things: the alibi of use here.
[..] The substance of our material culture, refracted through our advertising media, is an increasingly dominant site for the struggle to represent an individuals most powerful desires, aspirations and fears. In industrial countries, we are constantly encouraged to associate and identify, both physically and psychologically, with a bewildering range of things. From Tampax to Trade sanctions, these consumer choices - if media theory is to be believed - may embody the last remaining coherent space of personal and cultural representation. [..]