The aesthetic transversal - outline of a concept that includes the materialities of milieu in the understanding of artistic composition
Emil Bach Sørensen
(University of Copenhagen)
Paper short abstract:
This paper presents the theoretical concept of 'the aesthetic transversal' inspired by the geo-philosophy of Deleuze and Guattari as a framework for analysing the connections between humans and the material milieu of the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale.
Paper long abstract:
The overarching concept for the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale (ETAT) throughout the years is that 'humans are part of nature'. It seems to be an essential ambition for the triennale to engage artworks as well as artistic practices in processes that explore and (re)vitalize transversal connections between humans (inhabitants, participants, visitors and people that relate to ETAT via media etc.) and the material milieu of the Echigo-Tsumari region in Niigata Prefecture. The aim of ETAT is to employ art in a transition towards more sustainable life forms - ecology, culture and economy being related aspects in this context. Taking the transversal lines across the human, ecological and cultural stratum as its starting point this abstract has a double attention: It will address a handful of artworks at ETAT in order to achieve a topological and diagrammatic understanding of aesthetic means employed at ETAT. A particular attention will be given to a discussion of aesthetic materiality exemplified by the Midori no heya project, the Green Room Project, initiated by Japanese artist Sakao Kōichi in 2006. The Green Room Project located in outskirts of Tokamachi involves the local community as well as visitors in a process where traces of found objects from the surrounding milieu (cultural artifacts and organic materials as leaves) are included at the level of aesthetic composition via frottage; a technique where patterns and tactile textures are transported to paper or other media by rubbing. The Green Room Project and other artworks at ETAT will be vehicles for thinking 'the aesthetic transversal': A new concept that responds to the overall ambition with the triennale. The geo-philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari - particularly Milles Plateaux - Capitalisme et Schizophrénie 2 will serve as a vital source for the outline of the aesthetic transversal. From the conceptual level of the aesthetic transversal the paper will contribute to aesthetic and anthropological discussions of vitalizing potentials of art in rural settings as Echigo-Tsumari.
Materiality and Processes in Japanese Art Festivals