The power of the small can be seen in Jonathan Wyatt's articulation of creative-relational and its institutional embodiment at the Centre for Creative-Relational Inquiry at the University of Edinburgh. This short essay explores some ways this embodiment of the small has large repercussions for those of us who need and wish to have creative space made, held, and shared in the academy.
Written in the spirit of Maggie Nelson's “autotheory,” this essay takes up José Esteban Muñoz's notion of “ephemera as evidence” to explore how the body-as-object (i.e., the body-as-book) might reformulate understandings of materiality as an ephemerality of “traces, glimmers, residues, and specks of things.” Bodies-as-books are distinctly material, though not always solid, and can be written and read as artifact-ephemera that end but do not disappear.
This essay creatively evidences the materiality of a story and its ability to migrate and evolve. It does so by critiquing the non-human limitations of binary onto-epistemologies, especially visual/discursive ones. Here stories and words have lives, bodies, and agency and as such they matter, but that matter is not material. The mattering of stories is not contingent upon human telling or hearing. Stories linger where humans disappear. An ecomaterialist reading suggests we might productively decouple storytelling (stories about us) from storied matter (stories with autonomy).