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Material Thinking is an intimate, first-hand account of how ideas are turned into artworks.
Material Thinking is a ground-breaking book for artists, and for those who study or teach in the arts.
Author and artist Paul Carter provides an intimate, first-hand account of how ideas are turned into works, and how the material thinking these artworks embody produces new understandings about ourselves, our histories and the culture we inhabit.
Taking as his subject several artistic collaborations which resulted in performances, exhibitions or videos, Carter explores how each unfolded. In the course of this analysis he constructs a philosophy of how the practice and theory of making art are interconnected, a philosophy powerful enough to provide an intellectual underpinning for the new, and still developing, field of creative research.
'Here is startling, practical erudition. Prodigious book-learning is laced with real understanding of what it means to make art, to infuse sullen matter with something rousing, delicate and vital.'
-Ross Gibson, Research Professor of New Media & Digital Culture, UTS
'For twenty years I have campaigned for, and conducted, research in the medium of architecture itself, research that is not "about" architecture but "of" if. Carter begins by drawing the same distinction, but his ambition is greater: he seeks to explore and define research in the zones where creative mediums shade into each other. To work in a zone is to collaborate with practitioners who are centred on their medium of practice. Carter posits a new role for the critic, not outside looking in, not "about" practice but inside, "of", and pushing practitioners towards the liminal, and thus toward the innovative.'
-Leon van Schaik, Innovation Professor of Architecture, RMIT
About the author
Paul Carter's many books include The Road to Botany Bay (1987), The Lie of the Land (1996) and Repressed Spaces (2002). His internationally-acclaimed public artworks include 'Relay' (Sydney 2000 Olympics, with Ruark Lewis) and 'Nearamnew' (with Lab architecture studio), a 7,500 square metre ground pattern with nine sculpted letter fields, installed at Federation Square, Melbourne, in 2003. He is Professorial Research Fellow in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, University of Melbourne.