The Makers’ Universe: Science, Art and Instruments in Early Modern Europe Workshop. McGill University Sept. 23-25

Network Node: 
Thu., Sep. 23, 2010 (All day) - Sat., Sep. 25, 2010 (All day)

is a workshop that aims to explore and re-evaluate the relationship between early modern scientific knowledge and the “arts”, or between episteme and techne (ca. 1500-1800). We seek to explore techne in its relation to familiar categories such as empirical observation, experiments, and instruments, but also to push the discussion beyond those themes, charting the realm of techne in its full early modern sense. Techne was the organizing concept for a wide range of observational and experimental practices, and governed relations between artisans and their artifacts, operators and their instruments, and between makers and their productions.

The program is loosely organized into four thematic categories: Matter, Body, Instruments, and Experiment. The emphasis, however, is on the inclusive rather than exclusive nature of this categorization, with particular attention to the cross-fertilization between these categories. The workshop explores material on topics ranging from automata and anatomical machinery, to instruments and experiment, theories of matter, artisans' tacit knowledge, and bodily
skill. It is the open-endedness of the Maker’s Knowledge tradition— addressing the theoretical, instrumental, and hands-on practices of science—that this workshop explores.

Nicholas Dew, Margaret Carlyle, Victor Boantza, and Jean-François Gauvin

Macdonald Stewart Foundation and McGill University, Montréal (QC), Canada

CONTACT: Margaret Carlyle: margaret.carlyle[@]