4th October 2013
The Force of Elemental Imperatives
This presentation considers on-going debates on the nature of matter and materiality, including recent assertions concerning allegiances between social and physical thought. Alphonso Lingis’ work on the directives of natural agents such as sun, wind, fog, ice or rain is used to consider the role of elemental force in determining the atmospherics of place. This will be located within the geographic traditions of environmental perception, more specifically with how things summon our gaze, or our touch. Finally, the methodological concerns of how to access the lively forces of the elemental will be dealt with, including the continued speculative potential of the material imaginary.
Dr. Craig Martin is a design theorist and cultural geographer working across the registers of material culture, mobility and non-representational theories. These coalesce around specific material expressions including distributive spaces; new forms of materiality; and affective atmospherics. The first of these is concerned with how distributive space can be used to critically interrogate the global contexts of commodity mobilities within the design process. The second considers forms of material expression associated with new manufacturing technologies, focusing on its impact on what material culture might become. The third deals with the sense of place elicited through spatial atmospherics, particularly how we engage with the ‘feelings’ of a particular site.