Thinking/Creating with Active Materials

Material Aktiv Denken

Transdisciplinary workshop bringing together theory and praxis


Thinking materials actively – Thinking active materials

Transdisciplinary Workshop (October 29th, 2013 – November 1st, 2013)

Zurich University of the Arts, Ausstellungsstrasse 60, room SQ503

Organised by Karmen Franinović, Clemens Winkler (Enactive Environments, Zurich University of the Arts ) and Roman Kirschner (Liquid Things project, University of Applied Arts Vienna)

Participants:  Christoph Brunner, Marcel Finke, Julie Harboe, Luke Franzke, Yunchul Kim, Aleksandar Cetkovic, Verena Ziegler, Roman Kirschner, Clemens Winkler and Karmen Franinović.

Transitive or active materials possess an inherent capability to change their states and/or properties in different environmental conditions and circumstances. This event asks what kinds of sensations, associations, thoughts, stories, and philosophical concepts emerge when we engage with such materials? Thus, the workshop’s goal is twofold: On the one hand it aims to reflect about active materials and their unique behaviours and performances. On the other hand it attempts to advance critical and artistic approaches that conceptualise materials or materiality in a more active and performative way. How could the agency of thinking and the agency of matter be brought together to develop creative ideas and new theoretical concepts?

The four-day workshop will tackle its topic from different angles: From close readings of texts and discussions about pivotal critical terms, to the use of creativity techniques and exercises with matter itself – the workshop provides a setting in which we will playfully, yet systematically shift between active materials and theoretical concepts of active materiality. This interplay of doing and thinking, i.e. the combination of practical as well as theoretical work, may open up new insights and perspectives on issues of/that matter.

Keywords: material/ity, activity, agency, performativity, transitivity, liquidity, flow