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In Stalling the World

Materiality is the driver of the world. It reveals the world as an entangled continuum (Barad 2007; 2011; Ghosh 2021). Artmaking practice is another such entangled continuum. Human beings strive to colonise the world by parsing out the inseparable into ‘knowable’ and ‘controllable’ chunks: nature; cooking; economics; art; mechanics; and so on and on.

In Stalling the World is a learning with materiality. Following without colonising its flows. The beauty of chicken wire reveals itself, as do the potential of dry wood glue, stitching, tin foil, lighting. This making process has shown me that imagery is a form of colonisation, a way of imposing a specific filter on the pushes and pulls of the entangled world. These magic lantern slides embody this at a political level, yet they also wield a forcefulness that is uncontainable by any imposed agenda. I hope that in stalling the world may similarly move beyond its making, and these words, leading further irrepressible lives.

Right here my human play with words comes to the fore as a tendril of magic lantern/in stalling the world. Here I can muse on wire as a traditional boundary-marking or colonising materiality. The way it bears its flow/meaning, masked by its mechanical construction. Its revelation of hidden beauty. Which is released through following the very tensions embedded in its manufacture/masking. In wondering how other unpredictable filaments may stretch out from here.

Assembling this piece came to an end during global lockdown. It chose its name accordingly. As a filament that has an ‘unknowable’ evolution, entangled closely with another light box, in another time that is also this present time. A re-cognising of the magic…


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