Tim Ingold on Thinking through Making


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“Ever since Aristotle, it has been customary in the western tradition to think of making as a bringing together of a preconceived, ideal form, in the mind of the maker, with an
initially formless mass of raw material. In this view, all the thinking has been done before the making begins. And for those who encounter the finished object, the thought
can only be recovered by reading back from the work to an idea in the mind of the maker.
Here I present an alternative account of making, as an inherently mindful activity in which the forms of things are ever-emergent from the correspondence of sensory awareness and material flows in a process of life. Artefacts and thoughts are the more or less ephemeral cast-offs of this process, strewn along the way. Rather than imposing form on matter, the maker — operating within a field of forces that cut across…

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