Cristin-resultat-ID: 1935626
Sist endret: 23. mars 2022, 06:43
Vitenskapelig foredrag

Material Withdraw: How Modernism Made the Surface Invisible

  • Ingrid Halland


Navn på arrangementet: Kunsthåndværk i en digital tid
Sted: Kolding
Dato fra: 20. januar 2022
Dato til: 20. januar 2022


Arrangørnavn: Statens Kunstfond i Danmark/University of Southern Denmark

Om resultatet

Vitenskapelig foredrag
Publiseringsår: 2022

Beskrivelse Beskrivelse


Material Withdraw: How Modernism Made the Surface Invisible


In 1910 a Norwegian chemist gazed through a microscope to study a white surface. There was something different with this white, the chemist observed. The never-before-seen titanium pigment was made from the chemist’s own patented innovation, the inorganic chemical substance titanium dioxide. The chemist was probably unaware of the far-reaching global implications the titanium pigment would come to have on his environment in the forthcoming century; the chemical substance would radically change objects and environments in architecture and design by making surfaces whiter, smoother, brighter, and more opaque. In her influential book Vibrant Matter (2010), Jane Bennet points out that Western societies seem to lack the ability to read material surroundings. In our progressively digital realities, material surfaces will become more unnoticeable, less sensorial, and increasingly insignificant. This talk tells the story of how the surface in architecture and design came to be thought of as immaterial. The talk traces the history of the Norwegian chemist Dr. Peder Farup (1875 – 1934) and his two innovations titanium white and titanium dioxide in order to show how modernism’s aesthetic and ideological ideals of permanence, progress, and homogenization were materially and visually inscribed into and onto objects and environments—making the surface inconspicuous and difficult for us to read. Prompted by the urgency to discuss surfaces in relation to design and sustainability, and in order to change ethical attitudes towards use and reuse of materials, this talk proposes that design discourse can forge bonds with environmental history, aesthetic philosophy, and artistic research to unearth unseen material practices. Illuminated by archival research, aesthetic theory, and art and crafts practices, the surface can become visible, present, and readable.


Aktiv cristin-person

Ingrid Halland

  • Tilknyttet:
    ved Institutt for kunst- og medievitenskap ved Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet
  • Tilknyttet:
    ved Institutt for design ved Arkitektur- og designhøgskolen i Oslo
  • Tilknyttet:
    ved Lingvistiske, litterære, estetiske stud. ved Universitetet i Bergen
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