Suzana Sawyer

Grant Type

Workshop Grant

Institutional Affiliation

California, Davis, U. of

Grant number

Gr. CONF-867

Approve Date

October 8, 2021

Project Title

Sawyer, Suzana (California, Davis, U. of) ""Mattering Elements""

This workshop seeks to tap chemistry—the science of transformation—and its historically shifting methods as inspiration for thinking the unstable materializations of our world. It asks: what capacities and modalities emerge when we think of the chemical and chemical process as substantively, semiotically, and/or poetically agentive of processes far beyond the molecular? Our scholarly commitment to engage with chemistry is not because we deem it the purveyor of truths or the real. Rather, it is to embark on a speculative experiment: how might imaginative appropriation of chemistry’s transfiguring methods engender innovative ways for thinking turbulent sociomaterial relations? Broadly speaking, the residency has two aims. First, it develops ways to conceptualize the material beyond surface or shape, and attend to the cataclysmic and transformative chemistries (both literal and metaphoric) that constitute matters of concern in our worlds. Second, it considers the affordances that thinking with chemistry extends—an affective and valanced grammar that (rather than denunciatory, deconstructive, or agnostic) suggests a processual ethic, and aesthetic, for navigating a world composed of complex relations.