Material Systems as Art Practice and Method
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This paper will report on an art practice based research project that takes the idea of ‘material systems’ to explore electromechanical sound art. By focussing on intersections between the mid 1960s revival in kinetic art and concurrent developments in experimental music composition the paper seeks to identify a distinct approach to systems art that is presented through objects, materials and technologies in real time animation. This approach is in contrast to other more conceptual, software driven and ecological approaches to systems art that became the more readily represented mode of systems art practice into 1970s and beyond. The idea of the material system is extended through the paper to describe the method of the project. This is achieved through making connections to John Law’s proposition of a ‘method assemblage’ (Law 2004) as something with the capacity to embrace a breadth of materials, technologies and ideas in a collage-like ad hoc contingency (Law 2004: 41). Also, the practical elements of the project and further examples are shown to reflect Law’s concern that in purely textural and graphical research findings the ‘materiality of the process gets deleted’ (Law 2004: 20). This paper presents both artwork and research method as material systems, enacted through a creative research process, where an ‘incomplete knowledge of the system […] is an essential feature’ (Eco1959: 171). Eco, U. 1959. The Poetics of the Open Work. In: Cox, C. and Warner, D. eds. 2004. Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music. London / New York: Continuum. Ch26. Law, J. 2004. After Method: Mess in Social Science Research. New York: Routledge.
4S/EASST Conference Barcelona – 2016;
Pigott, J. (2016) 'Material Systems as Art Practice and Method', 4S/EASST Conference Barcelona – 2016, 31st August – 3rd Sept 2016
Paper presentented at 4S/EASST Conference Barcelona – 2016
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