Re//Generate – Materiality and the Afterlives of Things in the Middle Ages

I suspect this issue of materiality and the reuse of materials is particularly prevalent in today’s digital domain, when the physicality of an item is negotiated in its replication. Can we consider digitisation as another form of reuse of materials? Interesting topic!

The University of St Andrews School of Art History in collaboration with the St Andrews Institute of Medieval Studies (SAIMS) present Re/generate: Materiality and the Afterlives of Things in the Middle Ages, 500-1500, an interdisciplinary conference on reuse and recycling in medieval Europe taking place on 6-7th May 2016.

In recent years, the discipline of Art History has been grappling with the concept of materiality, the very thingness of art. The material of medieval art, be it parchment, precious metal, gem, bone or stone, has emerged as a spearheading topic. Unsurprisingly, this “material turn” has prompted intriguing questions. To what extent does an ivory figure of the Virgin and Child embody the divine, rather than merely represent it? What exactly did pilgrims do with the holy dust or liquid which they carried away from saints’ shrines in little ampullae? It is within this context that we wish…

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