Wicked Intelligence: An Interview

The pages of Matthew C. Hunter’s wonderful new book are full of paper fish, comets, sleepy-eyed gazes, drunk ants, and a cast full of fascinating (and sometimes hilarious) members of the experimental community of Restoration London. Wicked Intelligence: Visual Art and the Science of Experiment in Restoration London (University of Chicago Press, 2013) maps the visual traces of drawing, collecting, and building practices between 1650 and 1720 to narrate the emergence of a particular kind of intelligence that was formed by visualization techniques. Hunter’s book pays close attention to the work of Robert Hooke while situating Hooke within a community of painters, architects, writers, customs brokers, telescope makers, and other fashioners of early modern experiments of all sorts. We talked about the book for the New Books in STS podcast, and you can listen to our conversation here!