Materials have always been transmitters of messages. Today they have acquired a new relevance as a result of the increasing flows of information that shape our societies. Consequently, many scientific fields are simultaneously developing ways of expanding the potential of matter to handle these flows. On the road to realizing ideas like “programmable matter” or “adaptive architecture”, research groups on “mediated matter”, “transitive materials” and “metamaterials” have emerged. Yet these young realms leave promising aspects of these novel, active and metamorphic materials unelaborated. Considering Gaston Bachelard’s poetic essays on the influence of matter on imagination, we propose a practical and critical approach to the genuine advances in this field:
LIQUID THINGS aims at establishing materials as the starting point of the creative process in general and at the creation of a series of prototypes within an experimental framework in the context of sculptural audiovisual art in particular. The project will lay the theoretical foundations that allow the exploitation of this research context in a wider and explorative artistic practice. Furthermore, it will enhance and question the potential autonomy of the materials used in the experiments, reveal and explore the intrinsic narratives of material transformations, and finally introduce the political and philosophical dimensions implicit in the practice of material manipulation into art discourse.

The project LIQUID THINGS is funded by FWF, the Austrian Science Fund, within the PEEK-program (Programm zur Erweiterung und Erschliessung der Künste) and runs from March 2012 until September 2014.