Articles | Volume 79, issue 2
Standard article
13 May 2024
Standard article |  | 13 May 2024

Material agency in art installations: exploring the interplay of art, space, and materials in Detroit

Nora Mariella Küttel

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Cited articles

Anderson, B. and Tolia-Kelly, D.: Matter(s) in social and cultural geography, Geoforum, 35, 669–674,, 2004. 
Apel, D.: Art and the Industrial City, in: Up from the streets: Detroit art from the Duffy warehouse collection, edited by: Abt, J., Nawrocki, D. A., Wilkinson, M., Elaine, L. Jacob Gallery, and Wayne State University, Elaine L. Jacob Gallery, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, 14–25, ISBN 978-0-9710973-1-5, 2001. 
Apel, D.: Beautiful terrible ruins: Detroit and the anxiety of decline, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ, 210 pp., ISBN 978-0-8135-7407-3, 2015. 
Armiero, M.: Wasteocene: Stories from the Global Dump, 1st edn., Cambridge University Press,, 2021. 
Barrett, E.: Makers' voices: four themes for material literacy in contemporary sculpture, Journal of Visual Art Practice, 19, 351–372,, 2020. 
Short summary
Decades of neglect and disinvestment have left Detroit with many abandoned buildings, ruins, and empty lots. These structures and materials can act as catalysts, substances, and co-creators of artworks. By focusing on the two Detroit artists Olayami Dabls and Scott Hocking, the paper explores how art, space, and materials interact and how materials actively contribute to art.