The Matter of the Image: For a Material Aesthetics between Ontology and Linguistics

Anna Montebugnoli

Abstract


This essay aims at understanding the role of matter and outlining material aesthetics in the age of the digital image. To do so, it first analyses the traditional link between matter and form within the framework of classic ontology and aesthetics, according to which matter is the passive principle of reality subdued to the action of form and its logos. It then attempts to rethink this relationship through the activation of matter in its metaphysical, as well as aesthetical and linguistical dimensions. Such activation is outlined through the analysis of the concept of “concrete sense” and “concrete metaphysics” developed by Pavel Florensky in his inquiry into the Orthodox icon, and through that of “vital semantics” defined by Roland Barthes in his essay on 16th century Italian painter Arcimboldo. The argument is that these two concepts allow for a different relationship among art’s praxis, ontology, and linguistics, leading to the first formulation of a material aesthetics, while also rethinking the temporality of both traditional and digital image.

 

Article received: April 30, 2020; Article accepted: June 23, 2020; Published online: September 15, 2020; Original scholarly paper

How to cite this article: Montebugnoli, Anna. "The Matter of the Image: For a Material Aesthetics between Ontology and Linguistics." AM Journal of Art and Media Studies 22 (2020): 85-97. doi: 10.25038/am.v0i22.382


Keywords


matter and form; material aesthetics; metaphysics and ontology; metonymy and metaphor; Pavel Florensky; Roland Barthes; icon; Arcimboldo; anachronism.

Full Text:

PDF

References


References

Antonova, Clemena. Visual Thought in Russian Religious Philosophy: Pavel Florensky's Theory of the Icon. New York: Routledge, 2020.

Barthes, Roland. “Arcimboldo, or Magician and Rhétoriqueur.” In The Responsibility of Forms. Critical Essays on Music, Art, and Representation. Translated by Richard Howard. 129–48. Berkley, Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1985.

Benjamin, Walter. The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. Translated by James Amery Underwood. London: Penguin, 2008.

Berti, Enrico. “La materia come soggetto in Aristotele e nei suoi epigoni”, Quaestio, 7 (2007): 25–52. doi: 10.1484/j.quaestio.1.100148

Bois, Yve-Alain and Rosalind Krauss. Formless: A User’s Guide. New York: Zone, 1998.

Coole, Diana. “The Inertia of Matter and the Generativity of Flesh.” In New Materialisms. Ontology, Agency, and Politics, edited by Diana Coole and Samatha Frost, 92–155. Durham, London: Duke University Press, 2010.

Didi-Huberman, George. Fra Angelico: Dissemblance and Figuration. Translated by Jane Marie Todd. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1995.

Didi-Huberman, George. La rassemblance par contact. Archéologie, anachronism, et modernité de l’empreinte. Paris: Minuit, 2008.

Didi-Huberman, George. The Surviving Image. Phantoms of Time and Time of Phantoms: Aby Warburg's History of Art. Translated by Harvey L. Mendelsohn. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2017.

Eco, Umberto. Art and Beauty in the Middle Ages. Translated by Hugh Bredin. New Haven-London: Yale University Press, 2002.

Florensky, Pavel. Iconostasis. Translated by Donald Sheehan and Olga Anfrejev. Crestwood, N. Y.: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2000.

Ginzburg, Carlo. “Le forbici di Warburg.” In Tre figure. Achille, Meleagro, Cristo. Edited by Maria Luisa Catoni, Carlo Ginzburg, Luca Giuliani Salvatore Settis, 109–32. Milano: Feltrinelli, 2013.

Halliwell, Stephen. The Aesthetics of Mimesis: Ancient Texts and Modern Problems. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002.

Irigaray, Luce. Speculum of the Other Woman. Translated by Gillian C. Gill. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1985.

Jakobson, Roman. “Two Aspects of Language and Two Types of Aphasic Disturbances.” In Roman Jakobson and Moris Halle, Fundamentals of Language, 69–96. Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 2002.

Laclau, Ernesto. The Rhetorical Foundations of Society. London, New York: Verso, 2014.

Luyten, Norbert O. P. “Matter as Potency.” In The Concept of Matter in Greek and Medieval Philosophy. Edited by Ernan McMullin, 102–13. Notre Dame: University of Notre-Dame Press, 1965.

Mitchell, William J. T. “Four Fundamental Concepts of Image Science”, Ikon 7 (January 2014): 27–32.

Mitchell, William J. T. Image Science: Iconology, Visual Culture and Media Aesthetics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015.

Muraro, Luisa. “To Knit or to Crochet. A Political-Linguistic Tale on the Enmity between Metaphor and Metonymy.” In Another Mother: Diotima and the Symbolic Order of Italian Feminism. Edited by Cesare Cesarino and Andrea Righi, translated by Mark William Epstein, 67–119. Minneapolis-London: University of Minnesota Press, 2018.

Nancy, Jean-Luc. “Image and violence.” In The Ground of the Image. Translated by Jeff Fort, 15–26. New York: Fordham University Press, 2005.

Sorabij, Richard. Matter, Space, and Motion. Theories in Antiquity and Their Sequel. London: Duckworth, 1988.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25038/am.v0i22.382

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2020 AM Journal of Art and Media Studies

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

The content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

AM Journal of Art and Media Studies ISSN 2217-9666 - printed, ISSN 2406-1654 - online, UDK 7.01:316.774

Contact: amjournal@outlook.com

Publisher: Faculty of Media and Communications, Singidunum University, Belgrade, Serbia

Indexed in: ERIH PLUSEBSCODOAJ, and in The List of Scientific Journals Categorization of Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of Republic of Serbia (M51-2019). Beginning with No. 12 2017, AM is indexed, abstracted and covered in Clarivate Analytics service ESCI.