Bryan Markovitz

I am a PhD candidate at Brown University affiliated with the departments of Performance Studies and Anthropology. My dissertation is titled Reconstruction Acts: Experimental Science and the Epistemic Theatre of Historic Preservation

My work describes how new technologies of digital reproduction are radically altering historic sites and artifacts. Not only is it possible to record material culture, the data may be used to restore objects with prosthetics, or replace them with precise replicas. While reproductions have always been a part of museums, digital data and printing technologies are transforming exhibitions into theaters of historical rebirth. An artifact’s ruin, or disability, becomes its essential characteristic in the epistemic pursuit of an ideal state of past health.

By looking at three cases of historical ruin—Mark Rothko’s Harvard Murals, Factum Arte’s facsimile tomb of Seti I, and three reconstructions in Venice—I argue that replicas create effects that exceed the systems of knowledge that define an artifact’s disorder.

I recently completed an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Archaeology through Brown's Open Graduate Education Program. I also hold an MA in Performance Studies from Brown, an MFA in Studio Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a BA in Theatre from Trinity University. I have a professional background in museum design, theatre direction, and the production of technology-driven art installations.

Prior to returning to academia, I worked at ESI Design in New York City. In 1997, I co-founded Liminal, a Portland, Oregon based performance and media ensemble. As Liminal's artistic director, I received three Portland Drama Critics Circle Awards for best direction and design of Liminal projects.