Objects

(current convenors: Isabelle Chabot and Guido Candiani)

This node is placed within the Materialities and Mobilities research line as it is identified in the new mobilities paradigm context. It aims at exploring the different forms of objects circulating in space and time and the way in which mobility transforms their materiality, value (economic, symbolic) and functions. In addition to mobility traditionally understood as circulation of goods, the mobility of material objects widens its investigative horizon/perspective to the different declinations of the traveling object, the role of material contacts, the technical instruments, structures and physical contingencies, and the symbolic dimension, as variously involved in the concept of plural mobility.

In this perspective, a preliminary survey highlighted the following topics to be investigated:

  • The value of things and its transformations induced by mobility; the creation of value (economic and symbolic)
  • The impact of mobility, both spatial and inter-generational, on the materiality of objects, from an economic, political and artistic point of view, in a global view of material culture
  • The processes leading to the development of collections, which arise from mobility and circulation of things
  • A methodological reflection on big-data, digital humanities and visual representation

Seminars with a theoretical approach will allow questioning of the conferment of value upon objects, regardless of their original materiality (common use objects or small human remains). Alternative kinds of materiality, such as those regarding reliquaries, images and inscriptions, as well as their circulation, will be investigated. The reflection on material culture from a global perspective will investigate themes related to collections, history of collections and cultural heritage preservation through seminars on museum objects interpreted from a mobility perspective (as well as from an interdisciplinary perspective involving geography, history and history of science) and on the history of ‘political’ objects, especially those traveling through diplomatic channels. The methodological aspects will be discussed also with the contribution of maritime historians, in particular starting from a quantitative analysis of shipwrecks.