Welcome to MAI Issue 4: 'Feminist New Materialist Practice - The Mattering of Methods'
Dearest MAI Readers,
It is not without excitement that we invite you to have a browse through MAI 4—the first ever Focus Issue of our journal and also the first one with its own title.
The articles presented here have been commissioned by our three guest editors, Rebecca Coleman (Goldsmiths, University of London), Tara Page (Goldsmiths, University of London) and Helen Palmer (Kingston University). About a year ago, they approached leading academics and artists with an interest in new materialisms to contribute to this unique collection.
And, we call this issue ‘unique’ for a good reason: using multimedia platforms to present their often pioneering research and creative practice, MAI 4 authors expand the horizons of available feminist thought, not shying away from their adventurous intent. In fact, editing and preparing MAI 4 for our online audience often felt a bit like an academic escapade. But as we ventured into the unknown, gradually we have become convinced of the great significance of this robust article selection.
Defining philosophies and methods for new feminist work, these contributors introduce ‘entangled research as doing’, and therefore, step out of traditional ways of understanding feminism. Although they often draw on classic feminist discourses, in playful and creative ways, their work pushes the known boundaries and most definitely sparks interest. Broadly speaking, they all excel at examining material aspects of life, showing how patriarchal ideologies and logical rationalisations organise our every day, which we often fail to notice.
Among other subjects, the articles in this issue discuss such activities as painting, clowning, performing, poetry writing, filming, colouring, walking, archiving, and game playing. Yet, they do not separate these social or cultural practices from scholarly conceptualisations, opening feminism to fresh, transdisciplinary approaches. In other words, everyday practice becomes research and vice versa. Uncovering how we tend to take things for granted, MAI 4 contributors encourage us to resist dominant conventions in our study, leisure activities and creative work.
We hope that you will experience the same sense of novelty that we have found in this collection. Perhaps, you’ll even feel inspired to re-think what you do every day and find the freedom to express who you are and where you stand, simply via your interaction with materiality. And, as this issue demonstrates, it can become an act of resistance against oppressive patriarchal ideologies.
Please dig in, and, as says Rebecca Coleman, one of our three guest editors, ‘follow the glitter’!
In Sparkling Solidarity,
Anna Backman Rogers & Anna Misiak
P.S. To get the best of MAI 4, we invite you to start your adventure with reading ‘Feminist New Materialist Practice: The Mattering of Methods’—our guest editors’ introduction to this Focus Issue.