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Department of Social Anthropology



Javier Ruiz is currently conducting long-term fieldwork in Italy, where he studies the manufacture of sculpture in the Apuan region. This part of Northern Tuscany has been traditionally dedicated to the extraction, manufacture, and marketing of marble. Javier’s research investigates the professional practices of local workshops and their role in global circuits of Fine Arts.

In recent years, the production of sculpture has witnessed an emergence of digital technologies that might challenge the way artisanry is carried out and conceived. Looking at the present social, economic, and technical conditions, this project examines continuities and innovations in the localised industry of the Apuan Alps.

Javier has studied social anthropology at the University of Saint Andrews (MRes 2017, Deans’ List) and the University of Cambridge (MPhil 2018). Before switching to Anthropology, he studied Fine Arts in Spain (BA 2016), where he was a collaborator in the Department of Art History.


Contemporary Art; Southern Europe; Craft and Enskillment; Industrial labour.

Research Title: Manufacturing Contemporary Art: Craft and Automation in Carrara’s Workshops
Supervisor: Dr Andrew Sanchez
 Javier  Ruiz (2019)


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