What’s the Matter? Deconstructing the Material Lives of Experience-Driven Artworks

Sophie C. Kromholz


This paper, which is part of the fruit of the Ph.D The Artwork Is Not Present – an investigation into the durational engagement with temporary artworks, the fundamental role that material plays in experience-driven ephemeral artworks, specifically temporary artworks. A temporary artwork, as defined in this research, is a physical work of an intentionally temporary duration that is created only once. A temporary artwork can be seen as more than a physical and stable object. Rather, it is an experience-driven artwork. Through deconstructing how the material shapes the artwork, we might understand when an artwork is indeed temporary and how the experience of a work is impacted when the work is physically unmade. The process of mapping out the role of material within experience-driven artworks shapes our understanding of the overall significance of material and the manner in which it constructs how a temporary artwork is experienced as present or absent.


material, temporary art, experience, presence, absence, sugar, conservation theory

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25038/am.v0i10.129


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