• Inizio: 15.03.2023
  • Fine: 17.03.2023
  • Relatore: Conference
  • Luogo: Villino Stroganoff, Via Gregoriana 22, RM 00187 Rome. In person and online
  • Contatto: john.rattray@biblhertz.it
Wastework is an international, interdisciplinary conference on the materiality, spatiality, and processing of waste in the early modern workshop. It proposes to examine acts of disposal, displacement, removal, and abeyance – in short, the getting rid of unwanted things – and the consequences these carry for the study of early modern material culture.

How did the apparent formlessness of this discarded matter – the residues, the shavings, the piles – generate new ideas for forms or find new life through changes in state engendered by slaking, burning, distilling or casting? What disposal flows led household waste – egg shells, stale bread, stove ash – to enter the space of the studio as artistic material or cleaning product?

The conference will foreground waste as the material expression of practices of ordering and classification by which people adjudicated between collection and disposal, wanted and unwanted, salvation and loss. In reimagining the discarded past, we intend to test the usefulness of contemporary formulations – secondary product cycles, material fatigue, metabolic flows, sustainability, recycling – while also proposing new typologies and categories.

"Wastework" is organised by Francesca Borgo (St Andrews/Bibliotheca Hertziana) and Ruth Ezra (St Andrews/eikones) as part of the Lise Meitner Research Group Decay, Loss, and Conservation in Art History.



Site visits for conference participants

Monte dei Cocci, led by Emlyn Dodd, Assistant Director of Archaeology, British School at Rome
The American Academy in Rome, introduction to the Rome Sustainable Food Project

Open to the public

21:00: Artists’ talk by DOM on LA BUCA – Esplorazioni dentro il Wasteocene, in conversation with Marco Armiero, author of Wasteocene. Stories from the Global Dump (2021). To join via Zoom, click here.

16 MARCH (Zoom link here)

9:00: Francesca Borgo and Ruth Ezra, introduction

9:30: Panel One: Environment (chaired by Ruth Ezra) [N.B. change to order of speakers]

– John Gagné, Rags and Riches: The Paper Workshop’s Suppliers before Industrialization

Vitale Zanchettin, Waste Made Rich: Venetian terrazzo flooring from Antiquity to Carlo Scarpa

– Jennifer Van Horn with Megan Baker, Making Paint from Stone: Unfreedom and Material Reuse in Eighteenth - Century North America

10:30: Discussion

11:15: Coffee break

11:45: Panel Two: Network and Translation (chaired by Katharine Park)

– Carlo Scapecchi, A Netherlandish Method to Recycle Wool Shearings in Sixteenth-Century Florence

– Erin O’Connor, All Batched Up: Resource Extraction and Wastework among Glassblowers

12:30: Discussion

13:00: Lunch (participants only)

14:00: Panel Three: Economies of Waste (chaired by Julia Vázquez)

– Sophie Pitman, Cutting Costs: The Use and Abuse of Waste in Early Modern Clothing

– Cass Turner, On Waste and the Book: Origins of the Attention Economy

15:00: Discussion

15:45: Coffee break

17:15: Keynote lecture by Vittoria Di Palma, Use, Value, Waste

18:00: Discussion

17 MARCH (Zoom link here)

9:30: Panel One: Stories from the Workshop Floor (chaired by Frank Fehrenbach)

– Daniel Zolli, Sweeping the Workshop Floor: Donatello and the Virtue of Spazzatura

– Lisa Coulardot, Jean Hellot (1685–1766) and the Question of Waste in Dyes Laboratories and Workshops

– Marika Knowles, Workshop of miseries: Jacques Callot, Abraham Bosse, and the Printer's Workshop

10:30: Discussion

11:15: Coffee Break

11:45: Panel Two: Household (chaired by Francesca Borgo)

– Catherine Girard, Painture: The Temporal and Emotional Labour of Stale Bread in the French Studio

– Anna Reynolds, Fluctuating Matter: Wastework in Seventeenth-Century Breakfast Still Life Paintings

12:30: Discussion

13:00: Lunch (participants only)

14:00: Panel Three: Paradoxes of Matter (chaired by Sietske Fransen)

– Tillmann Taape, Distilling Material Economies: Separating, Preserving, and Recovering Matter

– Justin Linds, “Efficacious Fermentation”: Making Value from Rot on Early Modern American Plantations

– Lucy Razzall, “Nothing But a Thin Painted Past-board”: Substance and Paradox in Early Modern England

– Charlett Wenig, The Hidden Colors of Bark Ash: Reanimate a Final Leftover by Understanding the Origin

15:30: Discussion

16:15: Coffee break

17:00: Capstone keynote by Simon Werrett, Making Use and Making Art: Thrift and Waste in the Early Modern Period

17:50: Final discussion and roundtable

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