The paper proposes a re-think of the poiesis of materiality in contemporary arts through arguments about the agency, processuality and ethics of the material and its supplements. Informed by new materialisms, the essay contributes to the repositioning of the practice of poiesis in an artistic context by establishing a new modality of Althusser’s ‘encountering the material’ from proximity to matter to the mastery of techniques. By investigating the etymology of the term ‘spectrum’, the paper sidelines the logic of classical materialism that encounters affective dispositions in the milieu of materiality, which reaches into the space of language, re-presentation and experience. The paper focuses on the poiesis of light’s matter by introducing James Turrell’s artistic practice, which explores the epiphany of a materiality of difference. Poiesis comes to identify a disposition toward the potentialities and actualities of the material, where the sensorium of experience coexists with the logic of techne. While the frames of material practices interrogate both the originary system of materiality and the virtuality of technologies, poiesis draws on these differences to cultivate a horizon of meaning and experience.
Keywords: poiesis, materiality, light, spectrum, sensorium, framing
Full text: OAJ_issue7_Buoso_05 (PDF 2.7 MB)
Sara Buoso is a PhD candidate in Art History and Theory at the University of the Arts London, Central Saint Martins. Her research focuses on investigating a materialism of light in contemporary artistic practices. Her research studies emerged from art-writing (Juliet Art Magazine, IYL Blog, Domusweb, Ars-key/Teknemedia, Exibart), curatorial practices (The Collector, The Camera Club, London, 2017; Tending to Infinity, Carousel, London, 2015) and museums’ learning experience (Royal Academy, London, 2015–17; MACRO, Rome, 2007). Recent papers and presentations include ‘Plastic aspects of the light’s material between poiesis and experience’ at the Association for Art History’s annual conference (Loughborough, 2017), ‘The parergon: Towards horizons of experience’ at the Derrida Today Conference (London, 2016) and ‘Light-matter: The interplay of practice and experience the Encountering Materiality Conference (Geneva, 2016).