Keating: Between Machina and Anima: Early Modern Automata


My dissertation, Between Machina and Anima: Early Modern Automata, focuses on the production, collection, and reception of automata - self-propelled mimetic objects - in German princely "Wunderkammern" or cabinets of curiosities, in the sixteenth century. Automata captivated contemporary observers by virtue of their skilled construction, virtuoso artifice, and animation. As such, these objects occupy a key aesthetic category, one that has largely gone unstudied.

While the idea of an automaton has been treated repeatedly by historians of science and historians of technology, the actual sixteenth-century objects themselves have never been thoroughly studied in their own right. My dissertation offers a groundbreaking examination of the historical and phenomenological conditions of the making and appreciation of early modern automata. By surveying these self-propelled, mimetic objects through an art historical lens my dissertation departs from previous scholarship. Rather than approaching automata as rational, knowledge-bearing, technological achievements that epitomized the "Scientific Revolution", I analyze the ways in which automata engaged contemporaneous convictions about the manufacture and experience of art objects in the early modern period. The result is a new conception of how early modern individuals privileged particular forms of mimetic representations and certain types of manual labor that produced those forms.


Prof. Dr. Iris Lauterbach

Projektmitarbeiter ZI




Buchpräsentation: Hans Burgkmair
18.04.2018 17:45 - 18:15
Vergabe Wolfgang-Ratjen-Preis 2018
18.04.2018 18:15 - 18:30
Vortrag Fritz Koreny
18.04.2018 18:30 - 20:00
Führung: NSDAP-Parteizentrum
23.04.2018 18:00 - 20:00
Kolloquium: Provenienz- und Sammlungsforschung (X)
25.04.2018 12:30 - 20:30
mehr ...



zum ZI-Kalender