Corresponding with Jeju Scoria: Exploring the (re)generative qualities of stone.

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The author was one of 13 artists invited to participate as an artist in residence programme organised by City Art Community and funded by the Jeju Culture and Art Foundation. The project was to be held on Jeju Island, South Korea, in August 2020, and the aim was for participants to research and respond creatively to Jeju scoria, a volcanic stone particular to this island. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the residency was cancelled. Instead, participants were sent a small quantity of scoria to work with in their respective countries.

In this paper, the author reflects on the challenges of conducting an artist residency remotely, arguing that while this mode of working poses challenges, particularly in terms of access to authentic contexts and stimulation, it also provides an opportunity to explore new models of interaction. Originally a site-specific project, restrictions on travel meant that this became a material-specific endeavour, conducted remotely by correspondence through emails and the postal service. The paper documents a series of material experiments undertaken to understand the material affordances of the scoria. This process of enquiry is construed as a further ‘correspondence’ between maker and material, where both are linked in a process of discovery. Rather than existing in stasis, the scoria is presented as ‘vibrant matter’ [3], a substance which invites us to consider the generative potential of materials and understand that both we and they are in a constant process of ‘becoming’ [11].
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)online
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 4 Aug 2021


  • becoming, ceramics, correspondence, Jeju, Korea, lockdown, scoria, pandemic, volcanic stone


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