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Major Project: Critical Theory

The Poetics of Space - Gaston Bachelard

“How concrete everything becomes in the world of the spirit when an object, a mere door, can give images of hesitation, temptation, desire, security, welcome and respect. If one were to give an account of all the doors one has closed and opened, of all the doors one would like to re-open, one would have to tell the story of one's entire life.”

Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, p.224

“It is better to live in a state of impermanence than in one of finality.”

Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space

“We are never real historians, but always near poets, and our emotion is perhaps nothing but an expression of a poetry that was lost.”

Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space

“The poetic image […] is not an echo of the past. On the contrary: through the brilliance of any image, the distant past resounds with echoes.”

Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space introduction p.15

Specialities: The Geographies of Art and Architecture - Judith Rugg and Craig Martin

Destruction, documents on contemporary art, Sven Spleker, 2017

Aldo Pellegrini

Foundation for an Aesthetic of Destruction//1961

"But destruction and construction are related mechanisms. Nothing can be Constructed

circulates through nature all around us, and all" p,74

"Time corrodes matter, and in the course of this corrosion, beauty emerges." (Pellegrini, 1961, p.74)

  • this concepts of corrosion is very significant to my practice - considering the ways in which my work can have time based qualities - motorisation that can gradually corrode a surface - or a slab of wax that slowly melts. This can be exploring the serendipitous beauty within the process of corrosion

But it is the task of the artist to discover the true meaning of destruction. And this meaning lies in the creative ferment contained in every act of destruction, because to create is to transform, that is, to destroy. (Pellegrini, 1961, p.74)

  • This greatly relates to my ideas around processes of transformation, I can consider that all of my recent sculptures for FMP undergo transformative process, such as a solid to liquid, or a dry surface to being coated in water.

Ghosts in the machine - Skira Rizzoli New York Gioni by Carrion Murayari, 2012

"The dream of a world transformed by technology has been with us for centuries. From the Renaissance to the Industrial Revolution to our digital explosion over the past twenty years, each new technological innovation provokes an intense critical re-examination of the relationship between humans and the world around us." (Murayari, 2012, p.1)

  • This is helpful in contextualising how my own inclusion of technology can explore ways of reconnecting with architectures and materials. Processes of destruction, AI and machines reacting to raw materials can also reflect this.

Petra Lange-Berndt


How to be complicit with materials

'Material generally denotes substances that will be further processed, it points to the forces of production at the time. From a critical perspective, the term 'material' describes not prime matter but substances that are always subject to change, be it through handling, interaction with their surroundings, or the dynamic life of their chemical reactions.'

  • Materials and actions are so ingrained together

  • Interesting to consider materials more as substances - is my practice then an investigation into substances?

'It is therefore a political decision to focus on the materials of art: it means to consider the processes of making and their associated power relations, to consider the workers - whether they are in factories, studios or public spaces, whether they are known or anonymous - and their tools and spaces of production. '

  • A clear connection between processes of production as well as materials - materials and spaces are also very much connected.

  • I have always felt distanced from political aspects of work - but it is inspiring to consider how focusing on material and process lead research and making is still a political descision and has value in it

' to address processes of making is still associated with formalism, while materials are thought of in terms of concrete, direct and inert physicality, carrying imprinted messages. For some, to engage with materials still seems the antithesis of intellectuality, a playground for those not interested in theory, while material studies are defined, at best, as as an auxiliary science. '

Recent contemporary art trend to try and cancel out materials in favour of the more conceptual. As such my work could be counter to this, instead looking back on the importance of materials and their agency.

  • looking at the inherent weight and power of a material - these are the qualities that I am constantly trying to seek out, activate and expose to the viewer

'Methodology of material complicity' this can explore how we give agency to materials, follow or act with materials. Can the materials themselves lead us to the creation of work, and thus meaning.

Defining materiality


Terms: material, matter, materiality, stuff, substance, medium

Matter: substances being ones that are close to the point if non existence, only elevated by ideal forms

Material: more concrete term, refer to those which artists are working with

Materiality: young term, varied meanings.

Addresses upheavals of postmodernism and poststructuralism. Seen as an apparatus, an experimental system.

Also seen in context of digital age. Material of sound and language can now be non physical, 'an effect of an ongoing performance'. (This suggests a link with process and production and the performative qualities of materials, how they can add their own agency and how own energy, or power to shape work, and meaning)

Link Japanese Mono-ha movement 'school of things'

Mono meaning matter and material

Distinguished from substance or physical object

Identified tactile substance of matter with the human spirit


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