This article tries to develop a complicated relationship between the material-plastic, the desire principle, and its affective dimensions. It explores how plastic “touches” us multi-sensorially through its materiality and materialization. As ready-made, found, waste, abandoned, and obscure objects, plastic triggers and challenges the imagination and builds a variety of aesthetic affordances. It constructs and inheres in a desire-principle where the material goes beyond consumerism, cultural habituality, economic viability, the eco-catastrophic mandate, and spectrality into the (im)pure realm of art and imagination. This demonstrates how the plasticity of plastic and the plasticity of an artistic mind come into a compelling and convulsive interplay. This works through three sections. First, the “collectorial desire” where the artists in question emerge as collectors of plastic objects and construct a deeply invested negotiation with material and aesthetic-affective desire; second, the “ghosting desire” where all plastic artists are shown to have an epiphanous and analytic relationship with plastic objects as they make their way into art forms having a past life to themselves, ghostly in their objecthood and object presence; third, the “connective desire” where plastic becomes the “plastic subject” and initiates manifold becomings through instances like the plastiglomerates, the plastic-rock that expands the human-nonhuman affective arc of transmedial existence. Invested in art-interpretation and poetics of materiality, the article brings home a fresh realm of plastic-art with plastic-desire.
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Ranjan Ghosh; Desiring-Material: Plastic-Art and Affect-ability. the minnesota review 1 November 2021; 2021 (97): 53–76. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00265667-9335814
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