Material Processes of Medieval Art and Architecture, 106th College Art Association Annual Conference, Los Angeles Convention Center, February 21–24, 2018
This session will explore the material processes of medieval objects and monuments. Art and architectural historians focus most often on the finished product, but there is much to be gained by considering the processes of making as a site of constant negotiation and conflict. Amendments to objects and structures present distinct moments that may be defined beyond Marxist approaches. For example, what are the phenomenological experiences related to making? How do the inherent temporalities in artistic production shed light on decisions and workflow, as well as temporary, transitory, and intermediate solutions? How do changes in materials, such as the addition of gold leaf to manuscripts or gems to a reliquary, serve as signs of problem solving or problem making? New technologies such as digital reconstructions, laser scans, X-ray fluorescence, and Raman spectroscopies provide us with the opportunity to understand the conceptual processes of art making in the Middle Ages as never before through reverse engineering.
We invite presenters to analyze medieval objects and structures in relation to the inherent temporalities in working procedures involving ephemerality, instantaneity, or memory to explore what it means to make in the Middle Ages.
Kristine Tanton, UCLA
Meredith Cohen, UCLA