B e y o n d F i c t i o n
S i t u a t e d Knowledge
For those who are still interested in reality
On New Materialism & Situated Knowledge
3 kilometers of streets in Usera, Madrid
Material realities of everyday life around Usera,
different papers and newspapers found in Chinese groceries around Usera, Madrid
Location: Usera, Madrid
Since I moved to Usera, a district in Madrid with a high density of Chinese population which also manifests in a high variety of Chinese groceries, shops, and restaurants, I came across many new materials which aroused my curiosity.
The encounter with different Chinese newspapers, other materials, basically made out of paper whose (proper) use was at first unknown to me enabled a research on the idea of Situated Knowledge and to approach questions about what New Materialism could mean »to me« and if the ideas behind could allow me to shift my perception and direct my action regarding the use of the material in a specific way.
As we know New Materialism is not about a new matter it rather refers to our approach towards it. A certain reaction on the interdisciplinary concern about the dominance of the act-of-speech-theoretical approach towards understanding reality at universities. The newspaper as text/image-based material is of particular interest to me.
Especially in social science and humanities but also very interesting from the perspective of visual art – since ever dealing with materiality – the question on how to adress material became central after the linguistic turn.
Re_working with traditional material as the newspaper and other materials with a cultural use (the papers with color) I don’t address the material from an epistemological perspective but a rather ontological one.
These material realities of everyday life in Usera are connected to a broader geopolitical and socioeconomic structure which I do not intend to explain or evaluate with my work. My focus lies on the material itself, which often due to l a n g u a g e fall out of vision. According to my lack of reading and understanding, Chinese the newspapers demanded another approach, which allowed me to establish a different way of perceiving and utilizing them beyond the codified canonization of its seemingly fixed purpose. Thereby a different knowledge is also revealed.
My interest lies in the correlation between the material and me, the material I create, a third person and how it links to reality.
The idea behind New Materialism is also an attack on the view that only language alone is constitutive for reality.
The material offered me an agency to shape our relationship in different ways.
Griffiths, Morwenna: Research and the Self. In: Michael Biggs, Henrik Karlsson (Hg.): The Routledge Companion to Research in the Arts. London, New York 2011, S. 167-185.
Haraway, Donna: Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective. In: Feminist Studies, Vol. 14, 1988, S. 575-599.