Workshop: The Housing of Technology in Art

The workshop aims to explore the intersections and tensions between art and technology in the early modern era. It aims to bring together papers that nuance the standard narrative about material culture and adaptive technology to reassess connectedness. The workshop seeks to advance and develop the interdisciplinary scholarship that breaks down the boundaries that separate the sciences and the arts, by demonstrating that early modern transcultural techne opened up new frontiers of practice for both realms of knowledge.

The increased opportunities for travel and the circulation of aesthetic principles from across the globe impacted on early modern conceptualizations of the connections between technology and artistry. Moreover, current trends that seek to reassess connectedness in the early modern world in light of material culture necessitate an increased focus on the processes and rituals by which techno-aesthetic ideas circulated in early modern global trade.


22 March 2018

15.00 - 16.00: Tour of the National Museum of Denmark’s unique collection of lacquerware led by Johanne Bornemann Mogensen and Martin Mortensen, National Museum of Denmark.

16.00 -  17.00 – Wine reception at National Museum of Denmark.

23 March 2018

09.00 - 09.15: Registration

09.15 - 09.45: Introduction

09.45 - 11.15: Session: Early Modern Exchange Between China and Europe
Discussant: Don Wagner, University of Copenhagen, Nordic Institute of Asian  Studies 

Catherine Pagani, University of Alabama
‘Art and Technology Entwined: Elaborate Clockwork at the Chinese Court’

Ricarda Brosch, Museum of Asian Art, Berlin
‘Divisible Characters – Müller’s Chinese Typewriter’

Josefine Baark, University of Copenhagen
‘Models of Canton Life: Reassessing Mercantile Connections Through Material Culture’

11.15-11.30: Coffee

11.30-12.30: Roundtable on Methodology
Chair: Jacob Wamberg, University of Aarhus

12.30-13.30: Lunch

13.30-15.00: Session: The Role of Decorative Technology
Discussant: Jacob Wamberg, University of Aarhus

Markus Rath, University of Basel
‘Travels and Transgressions of the Fashion Mannequin’

Yijun Wang, Columbia University
‘Pewter, Silver, and the Maritime Trade’

Elaine Ayers, Princeton University
‘Collecting Floral Technologies: Herbarium Specimens as Nature and Artifice in the Early Modern Period’

15.00-15.15: Coffee

15.15-16.45:  Session: Collection and Display
Discussant: Sven Dupré, Utrecht University/ University of Amsterdam

Rory McEvoy, Royal Observatory, Greenwich
‘Decoding Harrison: proof of concept by sculptural horology’

Jacob Thorek Jensen, Danish Museum of Science & Technology
‘New approaches to museum practice: collective curating processes based on interdisciplinarity and multivocality’

Luca Molà, European University Institute/ University of Warwick
‘Technological Competition and the Arts: The Political Economy of Secrecy and Display in the Early Modern Italian States’

16.45-18.00: Final Roundtable and Concluding Remarks
Chair: Sven Dupré, Utrecht University/ University of Amsterdam

19.00: Dinner 

Venue: Spisehuset, Kødbyen

See programme with abstracts (pdf).