Just got hold of Dust by Michael Madder from the great Object Lessons series. Should be very useful when I start making and playing and collecting dust.
What materials / objects /things are in use in these workshops? How / why are they chosen to be included? The workshops extend beyond simple material studies at the point of feedback – how the object influences the decisions about how it could be used and the potential impact upon neighbouring objects. The materials are wood, metals, springs, rubber, LEDs, motors, vibration motors, cardboard, resistors, capacitors, transistors, glass, mirrors, arduino, computers, software, solder, hot glue, hammers, knives, paper clips – and on, and on… They assemble in messy, noisy groups influenced by artists like Martin Howse, Ryan Jordan, Jonathan Kemp. Martin’s recent explorations into Earth evolve in a complex system where computer or electronics device meet with the originator of that mined material – ‘A Geology of Media’ Jussi Parikka. Similar explorations of object surface, weak transmission (mini FM) and combinations of light signal and sound that move far far away from standard ‘A/V’ performance or installation – this is not a screensaver! Watching Martin perform EARTH CODE develops areas of ‘the fold’ – must read Deleuze and Leibniz! – where spaces of interaction are increased or reduced with each movement of material. Interesting chapter by Diane Coole in ‘New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency and Politics’ – the fold, Umwelt (Uexküll), matter, matter, matter, flesh. Also – Karen Barad’s ‘intra-action’.
There is life in the objects and things that contribute to the workshop. ‘Elan vital’. This brings in writing by Bergson, Whitehead, Deleuze and Guattari, Bruno Latour plus emerging thought from the fields of speculative realism, speculative fiction, new materialism and object oriented ontology (OOO) by Steven Shapiro, Levi Bryant, Samantha Frost, Timothy Morton, Jane Bennett, Ian Bogost, Graham Harman – the list goes on. Lists appear to be a very useful writing method for discourse around OOO enabling the writer to bring in objects from everywhere in life – often appearing quite comical. This could well be a challenge within the academic field – come up with the list of most random objects and things. However, what comes across from much of this writing is the vibrant life force that exists within objects and things that is not ‘given’, or attributed, to them through human thought or action. I’m not sure whether the concept of control has been developed from within this field of philosophy – is it linked to the idea of freeing up the control of objects through realising the life force within that is not able to be controlled? Does this offer what Brian Massumi describes as the virtual potential?
I’m making workshops – offering them to creative practitioners across the arts. I’m exploring resonance and interference – could this be diffraction? Interference patterns of light modulated by objects in motion or resonating with one and other. Diffraction is that point at which the disturbances are visible / audible – do they offer a new potentiality to the signal? A new path within the uncontrollable. The workshop as a practice provides the platform within which the materials (objects, things) interact – placed there through human actions the nonhuman actively participates in the emergence of new … A becoming of sound from material (both human and nonhuman). Are these materials? Or are they things? Or are they objects? Continue reading “What am I doing?”