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Conference/Symposium

Uncertainty and the Handmade

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Uncertainty and the Handmade

Friday, January 27, 2023
9am to 5:30pm PT

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Building 160, Wallenberg Hall, 433A, NOTE this event has two locations: (1/25) - Bender Room, Green Library; (1/26-1/27) - CESTA (Building 160, Wallenberg Hall, 433A)

Free Event
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Event Details:

Join us for a Collegium (the sixth for Stanford Text Technologies) which will investigate the handmade book through discussion of manuscripts, artists’ books, and digital aspects of and data about the handmade.

The Collegium begins with a keynote lecture by Joumana Medlej on January 25 at 5:15 pm in the Bender Room on the 5th floor of Green Library. The activities on Thursday, January 26, and Friday, January 27 will take place in CESTA on the top floor of Wallenberg Hall (Building 160). For schedule and program details, please see the TextTechnologies website. Registration required.

It is notoriously difficult to provide definitive data about manuscripts when information about origin, date, and attribution of production and provenance is often absent. For artists’ books, while such metadata is usually available, their variability and creativity of form make them difficult to describe and display in a static environment; and their discoverability is compromised by the categories required to catalogue them.

How do the academic and artistic worlds describe their objects of investigation, seek to represent those objects, and explain their processes of exploration and interpretation? What opportunities might AI present here? In this Collegium, scholars are paired in sessions to consider manuscripts and artists’ books from the perspectives of making/producing, categorizing/describing, displaying/representing, information/data. We’ll explore interdisciplinary frameworks of analysis for the study of the relationship between handmade books and their physical nature and phenomenology, while appreciating the opportunities and challenges of the digital aspects of a tangible, often kinaesthetically-activated object.

Text Technologies and Stanford Libraries (collectively Stanford Manuscript Sciences) international Collegia foster intensive and friendly scholarly exchange over two days. All talks are plenary, and colleagues attend all papers. Sessions allow for thorough presentations with time for questions. The Collegium is attended by guests from the Stanford community, but the focus at the table is on the invited speakers, who, this year, are all international book scholars and artists representing various outlooks and approaches. We make a record of key elements of discussion as the Collegium proceeds, and we shall be publishing suitable papers.