Thinking/Creating with Active Materials

Material Activity in Art and Design Practices

Karmen Franinović and Roman Kirschner will have a lecture on March 30, 2019 at XXXV. Kunsthistorikertag 2019


The current theoretical movement of New Materialisms claims that society has to think differently about the way it treats our common material environment. This shift is supposed to transform the way we speak and think about the world. The conception of matter as something active and transformable is at the core of the proposed changes. In order to have an impact, the new approach to matter must be developed through our materially-engaged practices, together with new conceptual frameworks.
Art and design disciplines have always been close to material activity. Recently, various projects started bringing attention to active aspects of materials, environments and creative processes. A number of artists and designers follow a more activity-conscious and less dominating engagement with materials and environments. They concern themselves with chemical and biological processes, temporal aspects, the openness of materials to environmental unpredictabilities and generative transformations. In their endeavours, artists and designers face challenges such as: more complex experimental setups, the creation of frameworks rather than objects and the conceptual integration of wider fields of contextual factors that influence material activities. Their different approaches can be subsumed under terms like «navigation» or «conversation» rather than fitting into more classical methods of creation and thought.
As researchers, our goal is to further enable such practices and also explore ways in which they can have an effect on the field of theory. As a basis for the above arguments, discussion and further investigation, we will introduce project examples from «Enactive Environments» and «Liquid Things» research groups.

Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Hörsaal 008
09:30 -10:00 Uhr

Sektion Material Agencies (Leitung: Horst Bredekamp, Berlin / Wolfgang Schäffner, Berlin)