Paul Cret and the Decorum of Objects (by Jim Brown)

In Paul Cret and the Decorum of Objects, Jim Brown, Assistant Professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison whose work focuses of rhetoric, writing, and new media studies, argues that Paul Cret’s architectural work on the Benjamin Franklin Bridge in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is an example of rhetorical carpentry. Building upon the work of Ian Bogost in Alien Phenomenology, Jim Brown argues that understanding the rhetorics of nonhuman objects requires something more than just linguistic description. By working with the rhetorical theories of Richard Lanham and emerging work in Object Oriented Ontology, Brown argues for a rhetorical carpentry that understands the decorum of objects. This piece is a condensed version of a talk originally delivered at the 2012 Rhetoric Society of America Conference in Philadelphia. (Share Link: http://vimeo.com/44889550)