Surface and Apparition: The Immateriality of Modern Surface




Journal Title

Journal ISSN


Volume Title





Peer reviewed



Surface is one of the most intensely debated topics in recent scholarship in arts, humanities and social sciences. This compelling transdisciplinary edited volume reveals the type of knowledge that can only be produced within interstices, in the most productive mingling between making and thinking from various disciplines. The book investigates material and immaterial surface qualities in everyday and artistic surroundings. As we increasingly experience the world as surfaces, the changing technologies that build, design or manufacture these surfaces, in turn, make us. In contrast to the responses to preceding industrial revolutions, contemporary concerns with surface seem preoccupied with its function of mediation or passage, rather than with that of separation or boundary. Interestingly this dissolution of surface often occurs in tandem with insistence on its materiality. In this volume, international scholars (UK, US and Canada) in the fields of anthropology, architecture, film, media, fine art, fashion, textile, silversmithing, woodworking, and archival practices account for how the material and the immaterial draw attention to each other in everyday and artistic practice. The surface functions in this book as a transdisciplinary method for attending to critical issues concerning human creative and technological endeavours. Written by a practitioner, or a scholar sensitive to current practice in their fields, each chapter addresses particular technologies (human body and sensory organs, manually operated tools or machines, industrial machines, digital devices, robots), materials (cloth, glass, wood, paper, resin, silver and other metallic substances, light, air or sound), and modes of attention, movement and engagement.




Lee, Yeseung (Ed.) (2020) Surface and Apparition: The Immateriality of Modern Surface. London: Bloomsbury.


Research Institute

Institute of Art and Design