metamorphlog is a collection that tracks down tendencies of perception, thinking, imagining and acting in a world in flux, involved in constant exchange and transformation. But to be any good, it has to be focused on something, which unfortunately also means limitation. That’s the crux of our time.
Beyond technics and images
Let’s assume the world went global. Let’s assume that the perception of distance and time is not the same as 100 years ago. Let’s assume that the mix of languages and cultures that we face every day leads to a sphere of fecundity and variation. But let’s also see that we can only live in this sphere with the help of technology that constantly seeps from scientific laboratories into our everyday lives. And let’s assume that although science is a process within society, it follows its own priniciples which are close to those of investments. Thus, basic research became a private hobby, money flows for useful applications. Developments are guided by practicalities, functions and control. But nevertheless, the new zone of convergence of biology, informatics, material sciences, chemistry, physics will bring up dramatic changes in our perception and position within the material world. The material world we have created will get less distinguishable from live bodies. Objects won’t stay quiet servants for much longer. There will be more activity around us and not only will our environment flash up with new screens of any shape, no, it will become one big morphing organic user interface powered by chemical and solar energy. And of course we will only feel the technical challenge of each step for some years before it becomes normal.
But as Gaston Bachelard points out, there are at least two equally important ways to be open for new things: science and artistic imagination. Let’s stick to the second one and let’s assume we dispose of matter that can be reshaped, that can fold, form bubbles, grow, shrink, act and react. That brings up good questions like:
How does this affect our imagination? Which poetry lies in this matter? Which dialogue with the material is necessary? How does this influence our creation processes? How do we deal with the programmability in programmable matter? And how do we ride the perpetual metamorphosis?
The author of this blog, Roman Kirschner, works in the fields of visual art and media art and writes a PhD on processes of material transformation and metamorphosis in the arts.