Art, Technology and Nature
Renaissance to Postmodernity
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Since 1900, the connections between art and technology with nature have become increasingly inextricable. Through a selection of innovative readings by international scholars, this book presents the first investigation of the intersections between art, technology and nature in post-medieval times. Transdisciplinary in approach, this volume’s 14 essays explore art, technology and nature’s shifting constellations that are discernible at the micro level and as part of a larger chronological pattern. Included are subjects ranging from Renaissance wooden dolls, science in the Italian art academies, and artisanal epistemologies in the followers of Leonardo, to Surrealism and its precursors in Mannerist grotesques and the Wunderkammer, eighteenth-century plant printing, the climate and its artistic presentations from Constable to Olafur Eliasson, and the hermeneutics of bioart. In their comprehensive introduction, editors Camilla Skovbjerg Paldam and Jacob Wamberg trace the Kantian heritage of radically separating art and technology, and inserting both at a distance to nature, suggesting this was a transient chapter in history. Thus, they argue, the present renegotiation between art, technology and nature is reminiscent of the ancient and medieval periods, in which art and technology were categorized as aspects of a common area of cultivated products and their methods (the Latin ars, the Greek techne), an area moreover supposed to imitate the creative forces of nature.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction: A short history of art, technology and nature, Jacob Wamberg and Camilla Skovbjerg Paldam. Part I Assistance/Interruption: Art and Technology Interlacing with Nature: Creatio ex lingo: the characteristics of wooden Renaissance dolls, Markus Rath; Genesis of images: intersections of art and alchemy in early modern Europe, Lisbet Tarp; Living jewels, creepy crawlers and robobugs: insects in the Wunderkammer, Surrealism and contemporary art, Marion Endt-Jones; Grotesque! Strategies of figurative genesis in the 16th century and in the Surrealism of the 1920s and 1930s, Maria Fabricius Hansen and Camilla Skovbjerg Paldam. Part II Hermeneutics: Art and Technology Representing Nature: Applied science in the Renaissance art academy, Bjørn Okholm Skaarup; Artisanal epistemologies and the artless art of post-tridentine painting, Claire Farago; Printing plants: the technology of nature printing in 18th_century Spain, Alisa Luxenberg; The microscope as a musical instrument: art, hermeneutics and technoscience, Pernille Leth-Espensen; How to experience and relate to climate change: the role of digital climate art, Søren Bro Pold and Christian Ulrik Andersen. Part III Localisation/Exposure: Art and Technology Revealing Paradigms of Nature: A perfectly nebulous experiment: C.T.R. Wilson’s Cloud Chamber, Kristine Nielsen; Images of rain between representation, technology and nature, Hanna Johansson; Crossovers: the art of Rodney Graham, Roni Horn and Diana Thater between technology and nature, Hans Dickel; Haacke, systems, and ‘nature’ around 1970: an art of systems / systematic art, Caroline A. Jones; It is the city that makes the walking what it is: interview with Olafur Eliasson, Jacob Wamberg. Epilogue, James Elkins; Bibliography; Index.
Camilla Skovbjerg Paldam is Associate Professor of Art History, Department of Aesthetics and Communication, Aarhus University, Denmark. Jacob Wamberg is Professor of Art History, Department of Aesthetics and Communication, Aarhus University, Denmark.
'This book is a superb collection shaped by the latest research on the histories of nature, art, science, and technology.' Oliver Grau, Danube University, Austria
'An interesting and informative approach to ways of thinking about history, the book provides transdisciplinary conceptual analyses of historical engagements between art, nature and technology. The essays locate these engagements in paradigmatic developments of visuality and knowledge during the past five hundred years, focusing on modern examples.' Matthew Landrus, University of Oxford, UK