term applied to an object, artefact or utterance understood or taken to be real, genuine, original or actual in some significant way esp in relation to a particular scene, context or frame of authorship.
worth noting the 'understood or taken to be' there - one might make some substitutions:
term applied to an object, artefact or utterance felt or perceived to have qualities commonly associated with the real, genuine, original or actual in relation to a particular scene, context or frame of authorship.
(guess i think about it in performative terms.. meaning it's relative, fluid, appears and disappears in relation to viewer/context)
People we carry with us. Or people that wait for us in places, objects, traces, texts. Or not people at all. Forces. But forces that can, sometimes, be gathered in the form of a person, using the device of a name.
creating, transforming, arranging or convening material and/or immaterial (new or preexisting) elements under the sign of a name.
Guessing that the term is most likely here for it's part in sculptural processes (surrounding a three dimensional object in a material, removing the object then refilling the void space to create a replica of the original object) I'm enjoying thinking about it instead in the theatrical sense, where the 'cast' refers to the group of actors gathered for a particular production of a play. It's understood in this case that the play is a kind of container - carrier of a particular semantic and dramaturgical sequence/order/shape - but also understood that any particular 'cast' will inhabit and animate this vessel differently. Also interesting that this process - of the cast inhabiting and animating the container of the play - is a dynamic unpredictable one, a matter or complex inter-relations, impulses and counter-impulses which will play-out differently at any particular iteration of the performance.
The world's entire supply of accumulated stuff - data, recordings, materials, artifacts and traces in any form on any scale - either gathered purposefully and organised for study or preservation or else 'awaiting some future process' of such gathering and organisation.