02 und 03. Juli 2014

Sewing Lines, Growing Surfaces, Breathing Atmospheres: Towards an Ontogeny of Things

This workshop intends to start a critical dialog between the Study of Cultural Techniques and the Anthropology of Technologies, Skills, and Materials. Though coming from rather different traditions, both disciplines share a strong interest in an approach to things not as stable end products (i.e. objects) but as temporary convergences wherein open- ended practices produce moments of stability in a basically unstable world. The idea that practices precede the concepts and distinctions that are generated by them, which is crucial to the theory of cultural techniques, questions not only the hierarchical relations between form and matter, subjects and practices, objects and operations, but also the causal relations between subjects and practices, objects and operations. Are we the cause of practices, and practices the cause of objects? Or are we, the things, plus the distinction between us and them, immersed in practices and operations? Are practices of becoming subject and becoming object not embedded in an ontogeny of things?

Moves in Anthropology and the Study of Cultural Techniques towards an ontogeny of things will lead us towards a mode of thinking that questions the distinction between subject and object as a differentiation that is always already settled. This is also to question our knowledge about what skills and techniques are, and about what it means to be immersed in practices that have first to come to terms with distinctions between inside and outside, figure and ground, active and passive, flat and spatial, line, surface and volume.

The workshop will focus especially on transitional states between dimensions which, according to the Platonic tradition, belong to separate realms of being. Thus it will address the interconvertibility of lines and threads and of drawing and sewing, the formation of surfaces from textile patterns and folds, and the relation between the meshwork spaces so constituted and the smooth spaces of atmospheric immersion.



Welcome and Introduction

10:00 – 11:00

Drawing Parallels: Lines of Conversation in Design and Architecture

Michael Anusas (Strathclyde University/University of Aberdeen) Raymond Lucas (University of Manchester)

11:00 – 11:30


11:30 – 12:30

The Bounds of a Building: Some Thoughts on the Weave of Architecture, Edges and Finished Things

Rachel Harkness (University of Aberdeen)

12:30 – 14:30


14:30 – 15:30

Short Presentations of Research Projects

Júlia Brussi (University of Brasilia) Elishka Stirton (University of Aberdeen) Judith Winter (University of Aberdeen)

15:30 — 16:30

»… damit etwas Schönes daraus wird«: Ongoing Production – An Ontogeny of Museum Things

Nina Wiedemeyer (Universität der Künste Berlin) Juliane Laitzsch (Berlin)

16:30 – 17:00


17:00 – 18:00

Medieval Parchment: Sewing Lines and Growing Surfaces

Kathryn Rudy (University of St Andrews)



2. Tag

9:30 – 10:30

Breathing out and Breathing in: On Haptic Perception and the Atmosphere

Timothy Ingold (University of Aberdeen)

10:30 – 11:30

Weaving and Flying – The Temporary Convergences of Hand and Material in Scottish Vernacular Basketry

Stephanie Bunn (University of St Andrews)

11:30 – 12:00


12:00 – 13:00

On Techniques of Textile Imitations in Early Modern Art

Carolin Bohlmann (Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum der Gegenwart Berlin)

13:00 – 14:00


14:00 – 15:00

Your Thought Will Find the Contours

Anne Douglas (Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen) Amanda Ravetz (Manchester School of Art)

15:00 – 16:00

The Ontogenetic Potential of Lines

Helga Lutz (Bauhaus Universität Weimar) Bernhard Siegert (IKKM, Bauhaus Universität Weimar)

16:00 – 16:30


16:30 – 17:30

The Event of the Thread

T'ai Smith (University of British Columbia)