Just as I was casually googling ‘material histories’ I saw it. How did this happen? I asked myself, dumbfounded. I had found another blog entitled Material Histories. To cut a long, agonising, story short, I have decided to rename my one, out of respect and courtesy.
Then the second hard part of this saga began. With so many good blogs on this subject (as my blog roll attests) what new, memorable, apt name could I conjure out of my consciousness? I finally decided on MATTER. It refers, of course, to the content of materiality, stuff, and material histories. But it also, I think, is a nice play on what matters, and the matter in hand. So I have changed the masthead as you can see.
MATTER was also the name of a short-lived but active, research cluster I directed in my former school in the College of Creative Arts at Massey University from 2009-2012. Now that the School of Visual and Material Culture has been restructured out of existence, and I shifted to the School of Design the cluster went into hibernation. The cluster was very productive. As well as running seminar series and housing postgraduate students it also produced:
- Inaugural symposium and publication on ‘Matter in Place: Aotearoa/South Pacific Forum for Social Matters’
- Material Histories: Antipodean Perspectives, a two-day conference co-hosted with the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
A delegate blogged on the Material Histories conference and I am in the process of editing some of the papers for publication.
I continue to be fascinated by, and to tussle in my research with, objects, people, histories and the spaces in between. They are an endless variety of forms of matter, they are the matter in hand and they are what matters to be in my research life.