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Materiallity

Started by simon scheuerle Jul 14, 2008.

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Comment by ArtwallZine on February 27, 2011 at 17:12
New issue.click on the cover and take a look.Now artwallzine will be printed!www.artwallzine.com

Click on the cover to view this issue

Click on the cover to view this issue

Click on the cover to view this issue

Comment by ArtwallZine on January 26, 2011 at 20:18

If you want to participate on our online magazine please go to http://network.artwallzine.com and make your page there.

Comment by Arya s.p on September 27, 2009 at 2:18

Comment by Rob Van Beek on December 22, 2008 at 17:14
I think it's important that the issues around 'materiality' and 'conceptuality' don't get too polarised.

Concepts are objects that are materiality embodied in our mental life.

Materials are physical objects that exist as part of our surroundings.

We can have many, many concepts that can apply to these: ideas of scale, shape, structural features, functional properties, representational features, aesthetic qualities, and so forth.

Concepts are manipulable, they can be built-up or paired-down. You can make concepts of impossible or unmakeable things.

Working with materials involves learning from manipulating stuff in real space using your body, skills, tools, techniques, instincts.

This kind of activity may not always have a goal or successful outcome, but it is still grist to the mill.

Typically if you are working with contrasting groups of materials, with very different groups of properties, your mind will soon start finding connections between them.

Eventually you have to modify or develop your the concept of the materials you are working with, and how they can be combined...

The important thing is not to have 'interesting ideas' (that you then slavishly fabricate) but a mind/body that can work effectively without undue forethought or afterthought.

Art is not fabricated. It is performed.
Comment by Angelika Schroeder on September 12, 2008 at 14:35
In my work material is an important factor, because, as others already said, you cannot ignore the message material sends. In my case I use white cotton cloth to do "cushions" in the shape of rooms, and there you see, it would be something different, a different work, a different meaning, using "classical" material on the one hand as clay, steal..., or using architecture-related material as concrete or stone.
In my case it reflects my "female" attitude towards these rooms, although the other points in the work, concept, mathematical, precise, stay in the architectural surrounding.
(Pictures of my work should follow soon, I hope)
Comment by Dan Stewart-Moore on September 3, 2008 at 8:51
I use materials as a representation of organic and the human-made objects. I think every material has an identity. The way I use materials colours their perceptions but I think there's an inherent quality of any material that is undeniable.

I just read that and I'm not sure what that means. I guess what I mean is that materiality is really important conceptually for me and it seems that however much I might play with form the materials and their qualities will always have a hand in determining my "making" outcomes.

Rob, I think you're absolutley correct about needing to experience objects. It's almost like some people don't want to engage with objects. Like they are too powerful or immersive an experience. if as they are saying "Aaargh! more that 2 dimensions!... Can't cope...brain clogging up!"
Comment by Rob Van Beek on July 28, 2008 at 15:07
I'm aware that some stuff of mine might look more interesting as an image and other things might look more interesting in real life.

I must admit that I get rather irrated by exhibitions that don't take the opportunity of using a real space etc. That are basically dry and visually impoverished.

There is a tradition that associates the bright and and the gaudy with the low-brow, and austerity with refinement and sophistication eg minimalism and conceptualism.

The prospect of 'minimal' art or 'conceptual' art is a bit like 'minimal' food or 'conceptual' sex, such things might be possible and interesting but they are hardly likely to displace the real thing in the long run.

We know and understand life by using our senses.
Just because we are involved in change in our culture of communication isn't going to change that. If anything we are going to need to get away from our computers and have more 'first order experiences' - as Tony Cragg used to call them.
Comment by simon scheuerle on July 22, 2008 at 0:01
The more rambling the better Rob. That was great. I think much of what a work of art embodies through it's materiality is an element that suffers greatly through the object's translation into an image. When I put pictures of my objects online I feel a lot is lost in the process. Obviously imagination can bridge a lot of gaps but only through an actual physical/spatial experience of the work is the circle complete. The haptic response and the real materiality of the work is always lost online.
Comment by Rob Van Beek on July 16, 2008 at 11:20
I work with a wide range of materials and processes, some of these are dedicated art media, some are not.

I like to be able to mess around and explore the properties of different materials. I use a lot of found or reclaimed materials, not for ideological reasons, but because I need a cheap, plentiful supply of stuff.

Many artists avoid getting too involved in material processes today because they haven't got the time, money or space for a material practice. Working with materials also points the way to playful possibilities, and many artists are afraid of being distracted or diverted from the serious narrative of their work.

Many young artists in the UK have been deprived of play and contact with materials by the National Curriculum in schools and have been offered de-skilled and poorly resourced opportunities on Fine Art courses. It's not surprising that technically skilled makers tend to come from other fields, like theatre effects or illustration.

When you work with materials directly in real space, you are aware that they have many properties, for example:

- spatial properties
- mathematical properties
- physical properties
- structural properties
- phenomenal properties (like apparent shape and colour)
- psychological properties (like gestalt, or illusionistic effects)
- aesthetic properties (like balance, unity, intensity)
- representational properties (like imagery, symbolism, narrative)

I work with materials because they are property rich.

Concepts and thinking are rich in a different way.

Working with real materials allows more things to happen, more of what goes on is at the threshold of control.
Many contemporary artist work in a 'conceptual' way because it is easier to keep the work on message. There is a long tradition that elevates 'ideas' above 'making', 'intellectuals' above mere 'craftsmen', rather than explore the creative interaction of making and thinking.

Working with material objects also creates a real object that can experienced directly, as well as through representations. (It also leaves you with the problem of what happens to the work after it is made...)

Works in digital media are also 'real' (electronic) objects, they offer the advantages and disadvantages of working with a pre-programmed range of visual resources. In many respects digital media has oly a sub-set of properties that studio media has. But it has some important virtues of its own.


Apologies if I have rambled on. This is something that is quite important to me and that I have thought about quite a bit.

All the best to your new group
Comment by Nick Davis on July 14, 2008 at 13:03
Ive made some objects too. Not sure about materiality, I do like shot polyester though. It sounds violent but it's very soft.
 

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