Tag Archives | Things

The Beach – A Frontier of Nostalgia

by Duane Jethro

The beach is a place of waste and ruin. Rotting seaweed, stinking dead seals, cracked and crushed shells, deflated bluebottles, fat blobs of translucent jellyfish melting away in the sun. All the finished, broken things spewed out by the ocean.

In early January, estate agent, Penny Sparrow’s comments about Durban’s beaches surfaced in the muck and foam of social media. In a choppy Facebook post, she complained bitterly about black South Africans who swamped the city’s beaches over the festive season break. Allowing these “monkeys” access to the beach ‘invited huge dirt and trouble and discomfort to others’ she cawed. They only “pick drop and litter”. A mob of animalistic black bodies on the beach soiled Penny Sparrow’s romantic ideas of a pristine public space of white leisure.…

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CFP: Interface Conference: Materiality and Movement (Carleton University)

Carleton University’s Interface Conference: Materiality and Movement, 1-3 May 2015

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Harvard University

Made objects, unlike bodies that disintegrate – are trans-temporal. They are mobile and are continually moving across time and space, carrying within them stories and meanings that they have accumulated as a result of this mobility. In an increasingly interconnected world – where the meanings of mediatory agents are endlessly shifting, traveling and transforming – there is a growing need for critical inquiry that concerns the entangled nature of materiality, mediation and mobility. Themes of distance and nearness and the impact of movement on the material will be considered during this conference. Papers, panels or workshops are welcomed that investigate how contemporary and historical circulations of people and things across time and space have meaningful implications within the contexts of both the local and the global.…

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Things in Cambridge

The Cambridge Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) has convened an interdisciplinary research seminar entitled “Things: Material Cultures 1500 – 1900. The brief of the research group is here:

With the dawning of modernity came the age of ‘stuff.’ Public production, collection, display and consumption of objects grew in influence, popularity, and scale. The form, function, and use of objects, ranging from scientific and musical instruments to weaponry and furnishings were influenced by distinct  and changing features of the period. Knowledge was not divided into strict disciplines. In fact, practice across what we now see as academic boundaries was essential to material creation. This seminar series uses an approach based on objects to encourage us to consider the unity of ideas of this period, to emphasise the lived human experience of technology and art, and the global dimension of material culture.

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