The protraction of potters past.

November 2, 2012

Life is the protraction of the past into the present, the suffusing of matter with memory, which is the capacity to contract matter into what is useful for future action and to make matter function differently in the future than in the past. (Grosz, 2010, p.153)

The potter; protractor of soil and clay; suffuses earthen matter with memory; attaches meanings; grants worthiness; contracts it into what is useful for future action. The potter, makes soil function differently in the future than in the past.

Pottery is by its very nature anti-determinist –  “the performance of an act that could have been done otherwise, even under the same exact conditions.” (Grosz, 2010, p.144) The processes of gathering, forming, shaping and firing matter grant a freedom to create indeterminate results of form, colour and pattern.

We are protractions of past soil into the present. We suffuse matter with memory, we attach meanings to it, we give values to it, we contract it into what is useful for future action. We make matter function differently in the future.

– Jordan Lane

Elizabeth Grosz, ‘Feminism, Materialism, and Freedom’, in Diana Coole and Samantha Frost, eds, New Materialisms: Ontology,Agency, and Politics, Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2010.

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