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Blakey, S., Mitchell, L., 2017.

Unfolding: A multisensorial dialogue in 'material time'

Output Type:Journal article
Publication:Studies in Material Thinking
Publisher:Auckland University of Technology: Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies

This essay investigates the multisensorial encounter between people, things and
place, through the analysis of a shared experience in a museum store room. In the to-and-fro
of dialogue, its co-authors discuss the visceral bodily response both experienced in the simple
act of unfolding a piece of cloth in the attic room of a house. Theories of emplacement, flow,
resonance and intimacy are explored across the co-authors' home disciplines of craft and
making, material culture, history, pedagogy and museology, but are also followed into less
familiar territory including biology and neuroscience. The essay makes the case for a particular
quality of time and space, found by both authors in the maker's workshop and the museum
store; a quality they describe as 'material time'. In 'material time', being slows down, the body
takes over and boundaries between self and other begin to dissolve. As a maker-educator and
curator-historian, both located within the art school, the co-authors consider the implications of
these findings for learning and creative practice.