10000 things

10000 things - III. Making Things Reading: Lothar...

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III. Making Things Reading: Lothar Ledderose, Ten Thousand Things: Module and Mass Production in Chinese Art
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Narrative Outline Introduction to issues Topics or case studies (= chapters): Writing Bronze casting Terracotta army Factory production Architecture: post and beam construction Printing Hell paintings
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Definitions Modules = parts or components assembled to make objects. (can be steps in process) Standardized prefabricated Mass or Modular production = factory system: organized workforce division of labor quality control serial production standardization Ledderose’s argument: Modular production allowed Chinese to make things in large quantities and in great variety quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively Each chapter is a case study
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Issues: Changeless China? Modular production continues over time Like writing system Both also change over time, as technology develops Book proceeds chronologically, tracing the changes Creativity vs. standardization
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Main Periods of Change 13th - 12th BCE 4th - 3rd BCE 4th - 7th CE (AD) 11th - 13th CE 16th - 17th CE Now Question: relation to outside influences?
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Social Effects Contributed to Helping China support huge numbers of people Factory system allows speed, economy, accuracy, continuity, standardization Organization of production promotes organized, centralized society, powerful bureaucracy, and cultural standardization Produces objects in hierarchy of grades Everybody buys in: social homogeneity But status is clear: reflect social hierarchies
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What is Lost? Diversity Creativity? Running argument of book Creativity in China: imitate process of nature In west: imitate look of nature Novelty vs. repetition Discipline & spontaneity
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Chinese Cosmology Holistic Universe: all related Microcosm/macrocosm reflect each other Interchangeability Relationships vs. individual emphasized Stages of creation: 1. Chaos 2. Yin and Yang: M   3. 5 elements: wood, earth, fire, metal, water 4. 10,000 things
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Social Status of Craftsman Traditional Classes: Scholar official Farmer Craftsman Merchant Suspicion of craftsmen: “crafty,” sneaky Necessary but potentially dangerous
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Case Study 1: Writing System “Harmony,” he I , in Olympics Opening Ceremony Many special features Principles of creating script = those of production Reproduce, vary, & transform established categories of units Standard of quantity & complexity
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Script as a Hierarchical System Element one brushstroke Module component, radical Unit one character Series a text Mass all extant characters
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Building Characters All built w/ only 8-12 basic strokes
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10000 things - III. Making Things Reading: Lothar...

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