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Objects & Affects

Objects & Affects
University of Toronto Art Centre
Time: Jan 22nd, 9:00 am End: Jan 22nd, 6:00 pm
Interest Categories: Visual Studies (UTM), Science/Technology, History & Philosophy of Science & Technology (FAS), Critical Theory, Communications, Book History/Print Culture, Art (FAS), Architecture, Landscape, Design, 1800-1900
Second Annual Wollesen Memorial Grad Symposium for Students of Art

GUSTA's annual Wollesen Memorial Graduate Symposium will take place on Thursday, January 22, 2015, from 9 AM to 6 PM at the University of Toronto Art Centre.

The event is free to all and no registration is required. We hope to see you there!
For a complete schedule please see: https://gustasymposium.wordpress.com/

Dr. Matthew Hunter (McGill University) 4:30 PM, Janurary 22nd

Space, Time and Chemistry: Making and Disfiguring Enlightenment ‘Photography’ in the 1860s.

In the early 1860s, an engineer and curator at London’s Patent Museum named Francis Pettit Smith traveled to the British Midlands on a collecting mission. Smith hoped to acquire an early prototype of James Watt’s improvements to the steam engine from Matthew Boulton’s Soho manufactory in Birmingham, which was then slated for demolition. Instead, Smith acquired a remarkable, materially-heterogeneous set of images called “sun pictures” -- images reputed to have been produced under Boulton and Watt by photographic means in the 1780s. Propelled by the acrimonious campaign against the sun pictures promptly engineered by Boulton's own grandson, this paper sounds the conceptual and political stakes of reckoning with “Enlightenment photography,” both in the 1860s and in the present. ​

Matthew C. Hunter is Assistant Professor and Graduate Program Director in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies at McGill University, and Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Art History at University of Chicago in Spring 2015. His work explores interfaces between physical materials and cognitive processes -- between making and knowing -- with particular focus on the arts and sciences of Britain in the long eighteenth century. Co-editor of Beyond Mimesis and Convention: Representation in Art and Science (2010) and The Clever Object (2013), Hunter is author of Wicked Intelligence: Visual Art and the Science of Experiment in Restoration London (2013), which was a finalist for the College Art Association's Charles Rufus Morey Prize in 2014. His current projects include a collection with fellow Grey Roomeditor Zeynep Çelik Alexander titled Moral Instruments: A Secret History of Metals and a book manuscript called Fluid Cunning: The Temporally-Evolving Chemical Object in the British Enlightenment from which the present talk is taken.​


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