An international research network for scholars and practitioners interested in cross-cultural exploration of media art and philosophy
Inaugural exhibition of the Substantial Motion Research Network
In medieval Persia, Europe, and countries in between, many people used talismans to protect themselves and carry out their wises. Talismans were believed to function by interceding to the stars and constellations that governed earthly matters, drawing down these powers through the stones associated with them. Maḥmūd b. Aḥmad Ṭūsī Salmānī’s design for a talisman here (in ‘Ağayib al-maḫlūqāt, Marvels of Creation, (1388), based on an earlier work by Al-Qazwini) shows a man holding a stick and riding a vulture, to be inscribed on a crystal. I think it was intended to drive away snakes: many talismans of this time picturing raptors served that purpose. Al-Tūsī’s talisman manipulates the connections between the stars and the earth to target an enemy. What interests me in medieval talismans, and the unifying theme of this exhibition, is the idea that a material object can summon and (sometimes) manage hidden connections in the universe. These works by members of the Substantial Motion Research Network all, in different ways, draw together invisible powers and reorganize them into functioning objects.
Laura U. Marks
News & Events
November 30, 2018
SMRN had another wonderful meeting on October 30, Navine G.Khan-Dossos and Steve Baris presented their work in progress.
Report on September 30, 2018 SMRN meeting
September 30, 2018
SMRN had another wonderful meeting on September…
Another great meeting on August 30
August 30, 2018
SMRN had another great meeting on August 30,…
Report on July 30, 2018 SMRN meeting
July 30, 2018
Another wonderful SMRN meeting is held on July…