Objects, according to the anthropological adage, are good to think with. But just what kind of thinking is it that objects enable--or constrain? Are some objects made cleverer than others simply through their manufacture or embodied virtuosity? And how might attention to such inherent cleverness enable one to reconsider the aesthetic objects privileged by historians of art? The Clever Object presents a multidisciplinary exploration of the ways objects materialise, embody, or negotiate various forms of intelligence. Experts from the fields of anthropology, philosophy of science, design history and artistic practice offer rich insights into objects that frustrate conventional modes of narration while seeming to guide--even entrap--the subjects who make, behold, and interpret them. Original and thought-provoking, The Clever Object defines, explores, and expands the category of the clever object as an analytic tool of art-historical interpretation for the twenty-first century.
The Clever Object presents a multidisciplinary exploration of the ways objects materialise, embody, or negotiate various forms of intelligence, revealing its use as an analytic tool of art-historical interpretation. Presents an original theory (the clever object) that draws on contributions from a variety of fields, including history of art, anthropology, philosophy of science, and design history Features interviews with two contemporary artists Advances a theoretical conversation by combining historical contributions (from medieval/early modern) with contemporary perspectives Represents the results of a project developed from an intensive research seminar in which all contributors participated and developed their work in evolving dialogue
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