Vitality of Matter
What is this all about?
This project is about the qualities and vitality of the material loam.
It is about our interaction with the material.
It is about discovering our surroundings in a new way.
Dive in, into this new world, the world of loam.
So, why does the vitality of materials matter?
We live in a world full of objects.
It is part of our culture to throw them away when they are no longer needed. In other words, these objects, these finished artifacts are children of the linear economy which will, one day, fill the garbage dumps.
Behind every object, there is at least one material.
If you scale it all up, an immense amount of resources is needed to satisfy our consumption needs. The planet cannot and should not have to accomplish this.
If you want to counter the exploitation of resources, it is best not to consume them at all. However, this cannot be realized. A world without materials is unimaginable since every action is directly or indirectly connected to the world of things. Alternatively, we could rethink our approach to materials, to no longer think solely of finished objects, but of things that allow transformation.
Materials aren‘t made to become finished artifacts, they are substances-in-becoming . They undergo constant change during their formation as well as in their further processing. Matter needs to be seen as something active, lively on its own, but instead, it is prevalently perceived as a passive, inert mass that can be and is (trans)formed and shaped by human action .
What does this mean now?
Things and materials have an effect on people and their everyday life. They cause actions and reactions within our society. Likewise, people impose things the power to act or to initiate actions. In other words, “[t]he things that people make, make people” .
To witness things or material means to join the process of formation. It is about thinking of interaction rather than usage. It is about thinking of collaborating with materials instead of imposing artificial properties on them, which makes it impossible to return them to their origin. It is to think from materials, not about them . We should, therefore, learn to understand materials and try to respond to them in a way that makes fair handling possible.
If we start to give the matter a voice and ascribe it to an agency, we consequently will care for it better. Care is everything that helps to maintain, continue, or repair the world that all beings can live in it.
And this is why the vitality of matter matters.
 Daniel Miller, Materiality (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2005).
 Tim Ingold, “Toward an Ecology of Materials,” Annual Review of Anthropology 41, no. 1 (October 21, 2012): 427–42, https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-anthro-081309-145920.