Principal Investigators: Patrick R. Crowley, Assistant Professor of Art History and the College, and Michael Rossi, Assistant Professor of History

Molding, Casting, and the Shaping of Knowledge investigates the historical reciprocity between modes of making and knowing. Crowley and Rossi will explore the various historically and culturally contingent meanings that have been attached to these technical procedures, despite their ostensibly “styleless” or “anachronistic” character, from the ancient world to the present day. Used in practices ranging from funerary rituals to fine art; natural history to medicine; anthropology to forensics, molding and casting constitute forms of knowledge production that capture at once the real and the enduring, the ephemeral and fleeting, and the authentic and affective. Addressing theoretical and methodological questions pertaining to concepts of materiality, indexicality, tactility, scalability, and seriality, the objects of our analysis comprise a diverse range of media including but not limited to plaster, wax, metal, photography and film, synthetic polymers, and digital media. The areas of expertise of the principal investigators, namely the history of science and classical art and archaeology, bear upon this topic in distinctive ways that have broad potential to bridge some of the traditional disciplinary divisions between the sciences and the arts.

Related SIFK Courses

KNOW 57000: –/+: Molding, Casting, and the Shaping of Knowledge (Spring 2019)