Synthetic Histories: Plastics, Climate and Colonialism

Synthetic Histories: Plastics, Climate and Colonialism conference was a collaborative event convened by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and V&A Dundee.

Convened by Sria Chatterjee, (Paul Mellon Centre); Nichol Keene, Charlotte Hale and Laurie Bassam (V&A Dundee).

Session 1

Heather Davis (Assistant Professor of Culture and Media, the New School), “Inheritance, Transmission and Barricade”

Chair: Nichol Keene

Session 2

Max Liboiron (Associate Professor, Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador) and Alice Mah (Professor of Sociology and Head of Department, University of Warwick), “Pollution Is Colonialism”

Chair: Sria Chatterjee

Session 3

Elizabeth Darling (Reader in Architectural History, Oxford Brookes University), “The Complex Life of the Bakelite Wireless Set”

Alexander Davidson (Arts writer and lecturer), “A Climatic and Colonial History of Architectural Plastics (1948–85)”

Charlotte Matter (University of Zurich, Institute of Art History), “The Personal is Political: Toxic Materials in Art”

Chair: Jessica Varner

Session 4

Hoyee Tse (Royal College of Art), “Plastic Prosperity in a Growing Hong Kong”

Amy Woodson-Boulton (Professor of History, Loyola Marymount University), “Design Plasticity Before Plastic: Victorian Substitutions”, “Truth to Materials” and the “Deceptions of Cheapness”

Chair: Jessica Varner

Session 5

Nanjala Nyabola (Writer, researcher, political analyst) and Laurie Bassam (Assistant Curator, V&A) in-conversation

Heather Davis (Assistant Professor of Culture and Media, the New School) and Sarah Rose (Artist) in conversation

'Rethinking Waste Plastic' Compound 13 Lab Professor Graham Jeffery (University of the West of Scotland), Dr Ben Parry (Bath Spa University), Dr Vidya Sagar Pancholi (Compound 13 Lab), Sharmila Samant (Compound 13 Lab).

Chair: Laurie Bassam