Congratulations to professor Glenn Peers who will be a Fellow at the The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA, for the 2020-21 academic year. Professor Peers tells us more about the book project he will be working on while in residence at the Clark: “When Demetrius Triclinius looked at the moon through a mirror and reported his findings in text and illustration that survive in nine, Late-Byzantine manuscripts, he moved from mirror as instrument to mirror as medium: a cosmological technology of subject-formation. In his mirror, he saw a moon that was like the earth and in the form of a man. The mirror made the cosmos our image, but it was already there in the gaze. Our true seeing was shown to be technologically-mediated seeing. The mirror as media made us in its image in the skies.
This book project seeks to apply insights from Media Theory to the Byzantine era. It considers broadly how image and text both reveal and activate the media of music, animals, war and time to make Byzantine subjects, indeed to produce the Byzantine ‘human’ as such. Media theory, as initiated by Friedrich Kittler and developed by noteworthy scholars such as Bernhard Siegert, offers rich possibilities for investigating historical subjectivities as made by the technologies that have made and continue to make us. Participating in broader posthuman discourses, media theory attempts to foreground how (nonhuman) media shape and condition human subjectivity, as much as the other way around.
I will be in residence at The Clark Institute as a visiting scholar and fellow during the 2020-21 academic year in the company of other art historians and humanities scholars. In the course of my time at this research institute, I hope to take advantage of this stimulating setting and finish my book project.”