Enfilade

Conference | Wastework

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on February 18, 2023

From the Bibliotheca Hertziana:

Wastework
Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute for Art History, Rome, 15–17 March 2023

Organized by Francesca Borgo and Ruth Ezra

Assortment of small objects on the floor of a tailor's workshop.Wastework is an international, interdisciplinary conference on the materiality, spatiality, and processing of waste in the early modern workshop. It proposes to examine acts of disposal, displacement, removal, and abeyance—in short, the getting rid of unwanted things—and the consequences these carry for the study of early modern material culture.

How did the apparent formlessness of this discarded matter—the residues, the shavings, the piles—generate new ideas for forms or find new life through changes in state engendered by slaking, burning, distilling or casting? What disposal flows led household waste—egg shells, stale bread, stove ash—to enter the space of the studio as artistic material or cleaning product? The conference will foreground waste as the material expression of practices of ordering and classification by which people adjudicated between collection and disposal, wanted and unwanted, salvation and loss. In reimagining the discarded past, we intend to test the usefulness of contemporary formulations—secondary product cycles, material fatigue, metabolic flows, sustainability, recycling—while also proposing new typologies and categories.

Wastework is organised by Francesca Borgo (St Andrews / Bibliotheca Hertziana) and Ruth Ezra (St Andrews / eikones) as part of the Lise Meitner Research Group Decay, Loss, and Conservation in Art History.

1 5  M A R C H  2 0 2 3

Site visits for conference participants

• Monte dei Cocci, led by Emlyn Dodd, Assistant Director of Archaeology, British School at Rome
• The American Academy in Rome, introduction to the Rome Sustainable Food Project

Open to the public

21.00 Artists’ talk by DOM on LA BUCA — Esplorazioni dentro il Wasteocene, in conversation with Marco Armiero, author of Wasteocene: Stories from the Global Dump (2021).

1 6  M A R C H  2 0 2 3

9.00  Francesca Borgo and Ruth Ezra — Introduction

9.30  Panel One: Environment
• Stephanie Leitzel — Color and Contamination: An Environmental Approach to the Early Modern Dyehouse
• John Gagné — Rags and Riches: The Paper Workshop’s Suppliers before Industrialization
• Jennifer Van Horn with Megan Baker — Making Paint from Stone: Unfreedom and Material Reuse in Eighteenth-Century North America

10.30  Discussion

11.15  Coffee break

11.45  Panel Two: Network and Translation
• Carlo Scapecchi — A Netherlandish Method to Recycle Wool Shearings in Sixteenth-Century Florence
• Erin O’Connor — All Batched Up: Resource Extraction and Wastework among Glassblowers

12.30  Discussion

13.00  Lunch break

14.00  Panel Three: Economies of Waste
• Sophie Pitman — Cutting Costs: The Use and Abuse of Waste in Early Modern Clothing
• Cass Turner — On Waste and the Book: Origins of the Attention Economy
• Vitale Zanchettin — Waste Made Rich: Venetian Terrazzo Flooring from Antiquity to Carlo Scarpa

15.00  Discussion

16.45  Coffee break

17.15  Keynote Lecture
• Vittoria Di Palma — Use, Value, Waste

18.00  Discussion

1 7  M A R C H  2 0 2 3

9.30  Panel One: Stories from the Workshop Floor
• Daniel Zolli — Sweeping the Workshop Floor: Donatello and the Virtue of Spazzatura
• Lisa Coulardot — Jean Hellot (1685–1766) and the Question of Waste in Dyes Laboratories and Workshops
• Marika Knowles — Pressed and Hung: Wastework in Jacques Callot’s Les grandes misères de la guerre and Abraham Bosse’s La manière de graver

10.30  Discussion

11.15  Coffee break

11.45  Panel Two: Household
• Catherine Girard — Painture: The Temporal and Emotional Labour of Stale Bread in the French Studio
• Anna Reynolds — Fluctuating Matter: Wastework in Seventeenth-Century Breakfast Still Life Paintings

12.30  Discussion

13.00  Lunch break

14.00  Panel Three: Paradoxes of Matter
• Tillmann Taape — Distilling Material Economies: Separating, Preserving, and Recovering Matter
• Justin Linds — ‘Efficacious Fermentation’: Making Value from Rot on Early Modern American Plantations
• Lucy Razzall — ‘Nothing But a Thin Painted Past-board’: Substance and Paradox in Early Modern England
• Charlett Wenig — The Hidden Colors of Bark Ash: Reanimate a Final Leftover

15.30  Discussion

16.15  Coffee break

17.00  Keynote Lecture
• Simon Werrett — Making Use and Making Art: Thrift and Waste in the Early Modern Period

17.50  Closing discussion and roundtable

Poster Image: Quiringh Gerritsz. van Brekelenkam, The Tailor’s Workshop, detail, 1661 (Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum).

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