Art and Materiality

Course Code:

Π1 6060


6th Semester

Course Hours:




The Scope of the Course:
The course aims to explore and highlight the multidimensional reception of the work of art through the understanding of its intention and function, its materiality and semiology, which leads to a contemporary meaning and possibly to the redefinition of values arising from it, as well as its approach and preservation for future delivery.
The purpose of the course is to make visible how and why the contemporary work of art is multidimensional. The following questions will be asked and will be analyzed with examples in the material sections: What intention can materials used in contemporary works have and what are their functions other than purely aesthetic ones? How the material gives meaning to the work today or even redefines the values, and what they were before the dawn of the new era? When did the use of new materials start? And why; What were the stages of transformation? When did materials become independent? When did they form the thematic and ideological/conceptual positioning of the work? After all, is matter a means or an end?
Matter, tools and techniques as means of realization, apart from the composition and properties that ensure longevity or not, at the same time, through their semiology, introduce to us several complex conceptual and philosophical issues.

After the end of the course, students will be able to:
• To know the use of various materials in contemporary art and to understand their selection criteria.
• To know the range of techniques required for the construction and future maintenance of modern projects.
• To know the relationship between space and work in contemporary art.
• To become familiar with the often ephemeral nature of contemporary works of art.
As a learning outcome, students are expected to raise their awareness and go deep into issues related to the conceptual nature of works of art and objects of historical memory, forming a new perception, a contemporaneous view of invasive or non-invasive conservation, perpetuation, and promotion of the works.

Language of evaluation: Greek (English for Erasmus students).
Language of evaluation: Greek
Students’ evaluation (100%):
One essay for each student, with a topic defined on the beginning of the semester.

Guidelines will be discussed in the first lesson and will be posted up on e class.

• Anderson, K,. “Ethics, Ecology, and the Future: Art and Design Face the Anthropocene.” Leonardo 48.4, 338–47, 2015
• Bearsdley, J., Earthworks and beyond: contemporary art in the landscape, New York: Abbeville Press, 2006
• Bennet, J., Vibrant Matter. A political ecology of things, Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2010
• Boettger, S., Earthworks: art and the landscape of the sixties, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002
• Brady, E., The Sublime in Modern Philosophy: Aesthetics, Ethics, and Nature. Cambridge University Press, 2013
• Cheetham, Mark, A., Landscape into Eco art: articulation of nature since the 60’s, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2018
• Elkins, J. On Some Limits of Materiality in Art History,
• Feller, C., Landa, E., Toland, A. Wessolek, G., Case studies of soil in art, Soil Discussions 1: 543– 559, 2015
• Heyd, Thomas, Aesthetics and rock art, Burlington: Ashgate, 2005
• Ingold, T., Bringing Things to Life: Creative Entanglements in a World of Materials, ESRC National Centre for Research Methods, Working Paper Series 05/10, 2010
• Landa, E., Feller, Ch. (eds), Soil and Culture, New York: Springer, 2010
• Logan, W.B., Dirt: The ecstatic Skin of the Earth, New York, W.W. Norton & Company Ltd, 2007
• Macauley, D., Elemental Philosophy: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water as Environmental Ideas, Albany: State University of New York Press, 2010
• McLean, I., “Sublime Futures: eco-art and the return of the real in Peter Dombrovskis, John Wolseley and Andy Goldsworthy”, Transformations, No. 5, 2002
• Murdoch Mills, C. Materiality as the Basis for the Aesthetic Experience in Contemporary Art, University of Montana, 1991,,of%20the%20work%20and%20the
• Oliveira, N. De, Oxley, N., and Petry, M., Installation art in the new millennium: the empire of the senses. London: Thames & Hudson, 2003
• Rancière, J., The Politics of Aesthetics, The Distribution of the Sensible. London:Continuum 2006.
• Wodak, J., “Environmental Art as Remedial Action: From Meditating on to Mediating in Earth’s Energy Imbalance”, Transformations, issue 30, 2017.