The days when artists primarily painted in oils, chiseled marble or made finely chiseled etchings are long gone. Today, they sometimes cast sculptures out of gelatin, knot the same thread for years, or paste tomato paste all over the walls. Why do they do it? And how do they find fulfillment and meaning in numbering the leaves of a bush, boiling birds' nests to a pulp, or blowing up a garden hut? The art historian and journalist Sandra Danicke asked 22 international artists about their very own materials. How does one come up with it? How does one do it? What's the point of it all? The answers are surprising, instructive, sometimes touching.
Joseph Grigely from Chicago - deaf since childhood - reports on his methods of making contact with hearing people - and how irritating wall installations result. Scotsman Simon Starling explains how he once traveled to Ecuador to procure the balsa wood for a model airplane, Sweden's Sofia Hultén tells of her love of discarded items from the dumpster, and Daniel Turner of New York tells how he managed to liquefy a cafeteria and turn it into a stain on the floor. It's all about alchemy, craft, imagination and a lot of trial and error.