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Form and Life : A Possible Boundary of Material Aesthetics

  • The Journal of Aesthetics and Science of Art
  • Abbr : JASA
  • 2011, 33(), pp.103-140
  • Publisher : 한국미학예술학회
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Other Arts and Kinesiology
  • Published : June 30, 2011

신승철 1

1Humboldt - Univ. zu Berlin

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Chance image, which can be observed in the clouds, mountains, rocks, spots on the wall and so on, has traditionally provided a rich source for artistic practice. The image ‘not made by hands’ affords us on the one hand testimony for a formative ability of nature, and on the other hand it provides a model for an image practice even today. The artists take note of a form generating process in the material of nature, and this attention initiates a change to the idea of material. The dichotomy between conception and realization, or form and material, is now dissolved by the artistic practice that is involved in the playful movement of material, and the material which has been always passive and indeterminable, can show off a latent possibility. The activity of material that generates a form in its autonomous movement, shows us its vitality, and thereby we can observe - not a spiritual origin of art – but an affinity or a continuity between nature and art. Synthetic biologist Stéphane Leduc, claimed a hundred years ago, a continuity between nature and art, between a living being and a non-living being - based on the movement of material or the activity of form. Today's various artistic practices through synthetic life testify to his assertion about élan vital. In the activity of living material, art can take part in the change of nature by means of its product. The will to generate a form can be exchanged with the energy of life. The classical conception of arts, which is based on the dichotomy, such as form and material, nature and idea, or virtuality and reality, now undergoes a fundamental change. In the relationship between activity of form and movement of material, artistic practice is incorporated into natural history, and the energy of life is involved in the aesthetic question about a possible boundary to art.

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