News of Research at the Institute: ‘GENEALOGY OF THE CRINOLINE’

News update on our progress towards completion of a fully spiralling vision of the genealogy of the crinoline.


Fig. 1 ‘Steel Cage Crinoline’

Our small research group have been struggling to assemble organic forms comparable to the nineteenth century metallic crinoline, with a view to disproving the claim that there is something inherently modern about the geometrical imagination of the crinoline, even if crinoline technology, particularly in the steel cage form, is appropriately understood as a symptom of the industrial revolution.

Meanwhile, some of our more daring researchers have been pursuing the argument that the cultural excitement associated with crinoline mania in the nineteenth century owes something to the latent fascination with the form of the ammonite in fossil crazy Britain.

What if the ammonite were the secret truth or desiring machine of the industrial crinoline?


Fig 2. ‘Ammonite’

The possibilities of this conceptual phantasmagoria are being explored by a senior member of the Institute, in a paper that explores the status of fossils in the work of Walter Benjamin and his Arcades project.

(To be continued.)