Artifacts are mysterious relics, fantastical objects, and supernatural souvenirs. They rationalize beliefs held in ancient and medieval times about the relics themselves. Usually these items are collected and stored in the PIB some Artifacts are used by the Artifact hunters
Artifacts are usually a danger to themselves or those around them. If they were not a danger to the world the artifact hunters wouldn't need to retrieve them. Most artifacts channel tangential energy to some degree, allowing them to move other matter, including people, often into trouble. Artifacts express significantly more tangential energy when exposed to strong negative energy (e.g., an argument). Electric energy, specifically electrical storms, can magnify the powers of artifact tenfold.
Artifacts in general either require a human to activate or don't. Some artifacts like James Braid's Chair would remain passive and not operate at all without the presence of a human sitting in it and a descendant of James Braid with the proper voice patterns speaking nearby.
Some artifacts are capable of going dormant for several years at a time making it difficult for them to be tracked and identified by PIB agents. As such artifacts can travel far and wide withought being noticed by the PIB until they reactivate again and cause mischief. The precice timeframe of dormancy and reactivation can vary but once an artifact has found a suitble location or indavidual to awaken it it will reactivate.
Not all artifacts, however, require active human manipulation in order to start seeing the effects for which they're known, and at that point sentience or the perception of it comes into question. Loosely defined, sentience is the ability to feel or perceive subjectively.
Some might suggest that some artifacts "found" their original owners rather than the owners finding them or creating them.
Other artifacts, like the Studio 54 Disco Ball, appear to be more playful and mischievous instead of aggressive, as evidenced by the music that played when the disco ball fell. But certain artifact effects make it possible to believe in actual menacing behavior,
Some artifacts are bifurcated like Edgar Allan Poe's Quill Pen and Notebook, and two or more parts of a single artifact. Separating the two parts of the artifact from one another creates an almost human panicked response where the separated pieces will do everything in their power to rejoin with their companion parts.
It remains wise to control human emotions when inside PIB storage. Strong emotions tend to increase artifact activity.
Positive emotions such as love and compassion have the opposite effect of calming certain artifacts.