What ever happened to the heroes?
This project involves choosing and gathering together objects, often familiar. Potentiality is key; an object embodies its potential possible futures, with those futures held either explicitly or subtly within it. Here, objects are unfolded, unrolled, unwoven, undone. The original ‘use value’ of an object is questioned and transformed. An object’s tendencies are allowed to become apparent; the weight of an object, the way it folds, sits, hangs; the way it inhabits the space it is in. Elements and processes such as gravity, electricity, heat and osmosis all become materials in the work. The object is respected as vibrant matter. (Bennett, Jane, Vibrant Matter. Duke University Press, 2010.)
There are a number of key concerns that act as an armature for this project: firstly, the ideas around new materialism, specifically the power of things in and of themselves; secondly, the environmental mess we find ourselves in, and how changing our perspective towards the non-human might offer some alternatives for approaching this issue; and, thirdly, in respect of art making, the importance of the idea of thinking through making.
The expanded field of new materialism has in part manifested itself in a renewed interest in, and a return towards, the object. What I hope to achieve in my work is to provide a space for reflection on the qualities of the objects I present, their own agency and tendencies. Through encouraging contemplation of these objects I hope to allow a sense of possibility to open up. Perhaps this expanded understanding of objects and materials, and our relationships with them, might lead to a deeper consideration of the non-human actants in our complex world.