The Plasticity of Gold in Anthropology and Exhibition Work

Based on fieldwork in a gold mine and among gold brokers in London, this project’s objective is to explore the complex nature of gold. By way of ethnographical explorations and experimental exhibition work, the project will engage with people’s processing of the noble metal, both where it is unearthed and in transnational paperwork and business procedures where it is regulated and marketed. The underlying theoretical ambition is to use my ethnographic fieldwork on gold to explore the social nature of nature; in this case the globally distributed natural good of pure gold. If, as it has been argued, ours is an anthropocene era, defined by human disturbance of the earth’s ecosystem (Vince 2011), it is only right for anthropology to study gold as a social product, implying global connections and potential tensions and to explore ways in which to exhibit this insight.

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