At the intersections of light, space and interaction :: art, design and architecture

Julieanna Preston

Julieanna Preston is a spatial/interior designer recognized internationally for her transdisciplinary creative practice research on the politics of interior environments and material surfaces. In her research she navigates between theoretical inquiry and material invention explored through sculptural objects, performative installations, visual images and scholarly-based publications. These works highlight an affirmative feminist agency applied to every day interior space.

In recent years this speculative research has advanced knowledge on material vitality and gendered space in the context of curated exhibitions such as BLAZE, No Fixed Seating, SHEAR: SWELL and 13%: This is my feminist survival kit. Her design-writing practice includes two edited books, INTIMUS: Interior Design Theory Reader (2006 with Mark Taylor) and Interior Atmospheres which curate new and existing texts to reconceptualise interior design within multidisciplinary discourse. Both volumes have been credited as leading influences to interior design’s emerging identity. Forthcoming works include her creative practice contextualized in visual essays “Lining Stories: Conversations with Inside Trades” (Fairchild, 2012), “Neutral, Not So” (Berg, 2012), “Blazing Inter-alia” (Princeton Architectural Press, 2011) and “Live Matter” (Berg, 2012).

Weather is a phenomenon typically associated with the exterior natural environment. Played across an expanse of sky, it is a daily drama of equal concern to meteorologists gathering quantitative data as to lingering romantics seduced by atmospheric qualities. Far from politically neutral, weather crosses the threshold between inside and outside at the site of a sill, the gap of a door or the frame of a window. Such pervasion is an invasion and occasions a translation: a micro-climate materializes as the forces of light, air and moisture remake an interior surface iteratively.

Interior Weather Watch is a performative presentation revisiting a 2009 performative installation. It is conceptually framed by John Ruskin’s 1884 lectures, The Storm-Cloud of the Nineteenth Century, a well-known lecture drawing alliances between weather, politics and human affairs of the time. Preston also builds upon Actor Network Theory, most specifically the metaphysics of Bruno Latour as considered by Greg Harman in his book Prince of Networks (2009) and Jane Bennett’s book Vibrant Matters (2010) whereby the Kantian divide between culture and nature is recast as a democracy applied to all things as live actants, human and other. The installation provoked an existing network of phenomena into a hybrid state; to bring what is felt into a visible tacit and responsive form. In this context, an interior asserts itself as an intimate geography allied to political and environmental climates.

www.massey.ac.nz/Julieanna Preston

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