Dorota Golanska

About this exposition

Situated within a new materialist philosophical framework and inspired by its posthumanistic, postdualistic, and affirmative orientation, this article looks at instances of geoart, understanding it in terms of intra-active knowledge production processes. I look specifically at the artistic projects by Jim Denevan and, by doing so, I intend to examine the concept of a non-academic artistic practice with an aim of exposing that a detailed inspection of the processes involved in the artistic production sheds an altogether different light on the nature of all research practices. As such, it lets us engage more thoroughly with the “how-question” of generating knowledge, highlighting its processual material-semiotic character. As instantiated in my case studies, an inquiry of different relationalities involved in the process of artistic (knowledge) production enables a study of how subject and object emerge as a result of “intra-activity” (Barad 2007). Using his own body as both a tool and an active corporeal entity merging with the surrounding landscape, a geoartist Jim Denevan rhythmically and in a dance-like movement creates ephemeral gigantic drawings on sand, soil, or ice. They emerge out of a dynamic assemblage of the artist’s body (and his tools) and the local geophysical situation (with different sorts of matter or forces present there). The natural environment operates as an agent actively engaged in the whole process of artistic creation—of both making and unmaking of the drawings. When finished by Denevan, his works of art remain dynamic; they are being gradually modified and eventually erased by the undulating waves, tides, gusts of wind, the working of erosion and weathering, until they completely disappear. Focusing on the engagement of the artist with the environment and the random audiences present on site, I want to make clear that such eco-sensitive creation may serve as an illuminating example of what forms the entanglements of art and research could take and what material-semiotic effects such creative activities produce for all actors involved.
typeresearch exposition
keywordsgeoart, new materialism, creative practice, knowledge production, art and science, eco-sensitive activism
last modified16/03/2018
affiliationDepartment of American Studies and Mass Media, University of Lodz (POLAND)
published inRuukku Studies in Artistic Research
portal issue9.

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