Hunter 2013

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Hunter, Matthew C. Wicked Intelligence: Visual Art and the Science of Experiment in Restoration London. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013.

"Only by dividing its sprawling intellectual project between the specialized competencies and diversified resources of a variously skilled, geographically distributed collective, however, could philosophy possibly advance beyoond its seemingly perpetual infancy. And key questions remained: by what means would the dazzlingly diverse array of drawings, diagrams, models, specimens, samples and other visualizations 'crowd-sources' from the experimental colletive possibly be synthesized into reliable knowledge?" (8-9)

"From pictorial plenitude to visual attenuation, from mimesis to code -- juxtapositions like these figure prominently in recent approaches to narrating scientific visuality." (14)

"My approach is more pragmatic. What I see evolving in the experimental entrepot of Restoration London is less a semiotically polarized epistemological field than intelligence fashioned and refashioned through manifold hybrid fusions of visualization techniques -- and often deployed for far less enlightened purposes than those claimed by their advocates." (16)

visuality -- Elkins -- "a continuous spectrum of representational possibility triangulated between the always-impure fields of writing, picture, and notation" (16)

example of woman with enlarged breasts -- sent text, tapes (measuring size) and drawings

"Rarely did they bother to articulate -- let alone theorize -- the visual bricolage they mailed off to London. Yet reckoning with the material form of these variegated representational techniques was of fundamental practical and conceptual importance to the elite, polymathic figures who unpacked those transmissions in the capital and who sit at the center of my story. First of all, apprechending the physical properties, production history, and practical applications of a given material was standard procedure for the broadly Baconian brand of mechanically inclined experimental philosophy favored by Hooke, Wren, and their close associates. Not only did inside-and-out knowledge of materials ensure that these 'Architeonical' philosophers (as we will see them called) could direct others in the performance of a representational task, but it meant that those materials could potentially be harnessed as conceptual resources for understanding, even guiding, philosophical problems. Knowing how paper is made, how ink is manufactured, and by what means ink sinks into paper would, as we will see, prove keenly instructive for Robert Hooke as he drew, cut up, pasted, folder, and reamed with his paper model of a telescopic micrometer while thinking about the interiors of animal bodies in the later 1660s." (18)

chapter 5 -- "by examining the ways in which these valuable artifacts were physically disassembled, reconfigured, and recoded with meaning (often many times over) in the meetings of the organization, the chapter demonstrates how the working collection came to serve as a powerful model for the faculties of cognition -- particularly for Robert HOoke, Keeper of the museum itself" (26)

chapter 1

"If instrumentally aided observation was to be a heroic task of discovery that figured the experimentalist asd a 'new Columbus,' then drawing would edify beholders by presenting certified sights through techniques of graphic enclosure theorized by and practices in the early modern artistic tradition. But what if that target of observation changed every time it was seen, rupturing any graphic boundaries by which it would be enclosed? How could the experimentalist retool his eyes to see entities that corroded not only his theories but those very seen bodies themselves?" (34)

"By enlisting masses of participants to perceive nature and commit their observations to public record, the grounds of reasoning could be shifted fro mthe unreliable 'Brain and the Fancy' of discrete individuals to broader, agreed standards." (35)

"Proffering both instrumental and unaided views, HOoke's plate does tow inimical things simultaneously. By delivering printed images of instrumental revelations, the plate alerts the beholder to the disconnect between the ideas formed about objects from the body's unaided senseations and what becomes apparent of those objects from even slight instrumental enhancement. Yet by exemplifying printed form (the period) and then depicting its deterioration under only a modest degree of magnification, Micrographia also enjoins the beholder to take a critical relation to the very printed impressions through which these microscopic disclosures have been dewlievered. Even if the spurious printers' sallies that HOoke would call 'Mr. Engraver's Fancy' could be eradicated, the volume shows us that through their faulty, human facture, artifacts such as printed impressions would always be -- could only be -- a precariously calculus of material, accident, and luck. Hooke's prints work to breed their own doubt, implicating themselves in the treacherous epistemological terrain they iconoclastically visualize." (36-8)

"Beneath the objective lenses of the sophisticated optical instruments the investigator had to learn to command, things appeared often opposite to expectation and laden with accidental trappings. Microscopic things disclosed themselves partially, in time and in fragmentary aspect -- and this only when parsed with observational vigilance, technical skill, and a patient, flexible posture of inquiry" (42)

investigator into nature like Columbus discovering a new world (51)


chapter 2, Knives Out: Thinking On, With, Through, and Against Paper in the mid-1660s

description of a herring found in Scotland, large -- paper cut-out of it sent back to the Royal Society

early modern paperwork -- "Acts of cutting paper aparta nd pasting it back together were, it is claimed, central to the ways in which men and women in early modern Europe read, traveled through space, integrated information, produced their books, and understood their drawings." (69)

Hooke's paper model of a telescopic micrometer -- "was made as a multiple. It was designed to be printed, cut, pasted, and sold by MArtyn from his shop at The Bell in the broken shadow of St Paul's Cathedral destroyed by the Great Fire of 1666" (70)

this chapter shows "how the philosophical stakes of experimental graphic practices become truly perceptible only as we dive with their makers down into the cut, pasted pitted, stained, and ultimately rapturous mess of material facture" (70)

uses fugitive sheet flap to show inside and outside of object

appearance of Remellin's fugitive sheet / flap anatomy at Royal Society in fall 1667 -- probably inspired Hooke

"Responsive to broader artistic and experimental currents yet reducible to neither, the ingenuity of HOoke's object devolves, in ths first instance, on its ability to liquidate visual and ethical conflicts through opportunistic, conceptual flux -- to solve a puzzle. Pilfering shamelessly from Remellin and sacrificing the physical integrity of his own micrometer drawing, Hooke crafts an object that could simuiltaneously represent its mechanical target while also delivering the provocative visual fantasy of peering inside bodies, albeit transferred into nonthreatening, paper form." (86)

rejection of "Mr. Engraver's Fancy" -- saw visualizations as "crafty manipulations that were far less innocent, far more capable of deluding and ensnaring the experimentalist" (88)