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Two of the contemporary philosophies on materials and objects; the so-called Object Oriented Ontology and Vital Materialism, resonate with the striving of visual artists to create a vocabulary for art-practices in which the agency and autonomy of objects are being explored. In this thesis these two very different ontologies will be investigated and are put to the test within two case studies, a visual art project ‘The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things’ by Mark Leckey and a body of works by David Bernstein. These works seemingly try to convey, or alternatively deal with, according to the words of the artists, an inner life of objects and materials. In this thesis I will demonstrate that the philosophical approaches do offer indeed a vocabulary that offers visual artists a vocabulary that can be expanded upon.