What does it mean to acknowledge one’s closeness to, enmeshment in or even kinship with the material world? And what does it mean to question family structures – the way they organise, coerce and make deviant certain lifeforms – and dwell in other possibilities of kin-making?
Not just a jolly rethinking of objects or a polyamorous romp through relationships, The Material Kinship Reader reckons with the extractavist histories of materials and the social relations that frame much of contemporary life.
Spanning fiction and theory, the collection of texts expand the idea of an artist’s book by bringing words into conversation with an aesthetic proposition. Clementine Edwards’ artwork is the visual weft to the book’s written net. From colonial conquest to climate collapse, The Material Kinship Reader tells toxic and tender stories of interdependence among all things sentient and insentient.
Including contributions by Sara Ahmed, Hana Pera Aoake, Roland Barthes, Joannie Baumgärtner, Heather Davis, Kris Dittel, Clementine Edwards, Ama Josephine B. Johnstone, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Ursula K. Le Guin, Sophie Lewis, Steven Millhauser, Jena Myung, Aileen Moreton-Robinson, Michelle Murphy, Ada M. Patterson, Kim TallBear and Michelle Tea
‘The Material Kinship Reader is a beguiling orrery of ways of thinking, making and relating far from the shores of alienation. As varied as it is visionary, it tugs at and thinks kinship beyond “recognition”, a humming spectrum of becoming all kinds.’
‘A wonderful addition to the conversation about materialism and how we might live on after capitalism. Bringing together a sharp selection of core texts that have made key offerings to this dialogue with brilliant new theoretical and artistic interventions, the book is stitched together with Clementine Edwards’ searching material work and reflections. A generous and generative project.’
‘This book is a constellation of crumbs, treasure together in a vibrating field. It’s about what it means to locate family in provisional formats, textures and arrangements, and the focused and felt reciprocity with the small stuffs that touch us, tumbling through around and before us, forming our very being. An errant riff, The Material Kinship Reader thoughtfully darns a loose and loved garment, pulling strands together to reconfigure ideas of family, care, property and memory.’
Geo ‘Gbutt1984’ Wyeth
About the artist/editor:
Clementine Edwards is a Rotterdam-based artist from Naarm/Melbourne working across sculpture, film, performance, writing and jewellery. Her practice is guided by the ongoing research line material kinship, which thinks material beyond extraction and kinship beyond the nuclear family.
Published by Onomatopee, 480 pgs, 16 × 11 cm, Softcover, 2022, 9789493148789