11th Dec 2019 1:00pm-3:00pm

Dorset Place 201

Professor Caitlin DeSilvey (University of Exeter)

Working through two spaces–the art gallery and the collection store–this paper will explore the shifting identities of a particular class of heritage objects. The commonplace industrial machinery of late-capitalism, now largely released from its intended use in manufacturing and domestic production, has entered a new phase characterised by selective accumulation and appropriation against a background of widespread disposal and destruction. The paper will work with two sets of machines, drawn into two different institutional systems, and consider how their spatial displacement inflects their affordances of memory and meaning. It will reflect, as well, on the ways in which the machines appear to resist their reinscription and revaluation, retaining links to other possible pasts, and futures.

Hosted in collaboration with The University of Sussex

Caitlin DeSilvey is Associate Professor of Cultural Geography in the University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute. Her research explores the cultural significance of material change and transformation, with a particular focus on heritage contexts. She has worked with artists, archaeologists, environmental scientists and heritage practitioners on a range of interdisciplinary projects, most recently the AHRC-funded Heritage Futures project (https://heritage-futures.org/). Her monograph, Curated Decay: Heritage Beyond Saving (UMP 2017), received the 2018 UMW Historic Preservation Book Prize.