Water. Coltan. Carbon. Oil. Air. Lithium. Fish. Rice. Land. Gold. These raw materials, extensively extracted and harvested today, are of central concern to World of Matter. The international research project brings together artists, architects, photojournalists, and theorists from the fields of geography, art history and cultural theory who investigate natural and mineral resources and the complex social ecologies of which they are a part.

The project aims to generate audiovisual media, texts, and cartographies, as well as to unpack the relevance and vitality of such material in a series of public events, exhibitions and publications. World of Matter considers the provision of visual source material as a valuable tool for education, activism, research, and public awareness, particularly in light of increasingly privatized commodity chains and the gated power networks that control them.

The forthcoming World of Matter web platform (launch October 2013) proposes diverse processes of producing, undoing and relinking existing narratives to ignite a rethinking of the relation between materials and discourse. More broadly, our project seeks to advance a deeper understanding of resources as intricately entangled ecologies of things, places, and species interactions.

In the last sixty years, more natural resources have been raided by humans than in all previous centuries together. Large-scale mining is penetrating ever deeper layers, multinational land grabs are advancing to remote corners, and the race is on for the neocolonial division of the seabed. This frantic rhythm of ‘progress’ has spurred images of crisis and doom while firing up the competitive rush for new frontiers.

With growing consciousness about global environmental limits, there is urgent need for new discourses and modes of representation that shift resource-related debates from a market driven domain to open platforms for engaged and decentralized public discourse. First and foremost, the assumption that everything we encounter is a resource for human consumption must be challenged, as this anthropogenic vision has led directly to countless environmental and social disasters. The very term “resource” is a technocapitalist concept that World of Matterseeks to highlight and disrupt. Instead, the term “ecologies” acknowledges a compositionist state of existence that constitutes non-hierarchical interactions between multiplicities of life, matter, and technology.


World of Matter Concept Group

Mabe Bethonico, Belo Horizonte, artist-researcher
Ursula Biemann, Zurich, artist, videoessayist and curator
Uwe H. Martin, Hamburg, photo journalist, interactive multimedia publisher
Helge Mooshammer & Peter Mörtenböck, Vienna/London, research architects and cultural theorists
Emily E. Scott, Zurich, art historian, cultural geographer and artist
Pablo Tavares, Quito, architect and autonomous media practitioner
Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan, Amsterdam, artists


Visuel : Détails du livre Provisões, conçu par les membres de World of Matter.

World of Matter
Anbieterkennzeichnung i.S.d. $5 Telemediengesetz (TMG)
Uwe H. Martin Hudtwalckerstr. 18 22299 Hamburg
+49(0)177 455 14 23

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