Measure as Erasure

Research Seminar

  • Online event via Zoom
  • Date: Jun 9, 2021
  • Time: 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Emanuele Lugli
  • Contact:
Measure as Erasure
The construction of the modern world largely rested on faith in measuring. The control of natural resources, the military revolution, the mapping of space, and the representation of the real: all those achievements were predicated on the belief that measuring was reliable, that it could be done, and that its results were immutable.

While showing how measuring was instrumental to all those transformations, this talk presents early modern measuring as a form of erasure. Measuring, after all, prioritizes a few features over others, thus paving the way for operations that would not be possible had the original complexity been maintained. By looking at three case studies involving the measuring of monuments, the measuring of bodies, and the introduction of new standards, this talk reflects on the erasure of three dimensions--time, matter, and language--to explore the tacit violence of measuring in the early modern world.

Emanuele Lugli is Assistant Professor of Art History at Stanford University. Author of The Making of Measure and the Promise of Sameness (Chicago, 2019), he researches the history of measurement, issues of labor, and conceptualizations of precision.

For participation via Zoom, please register HERE.

Scientific Organization: Katherine Reinhart and Giosuè Fabiano

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