“Linking Venus”. New Technologies of Memory and the Reconfiguration of Space at the Warburg Library

  • Emanuela Patti The Media School, University of Bournemouth/IMLR, School of Advanced Study, University of London/
  • Francois Quiviger The Warburg Institute, School of Advanced Study, University of London
Keywords: Digital humanities, New technologies of memory, ​Network mapping, Visual complexity, Linked Data, Warburg Library, Venus.

Abstract

The Hamburg art historian Aby Warburg’s (1866-1929) idea of Kulturwissenschaft lends itself to interesting reflections in the context of what, in digital humanities, we call today the technology of linking and the visualization of complex systems (Manovich 2009; Lima 2011; Manovich 2012). Numerous are the affinities between Warburg’s method of work and the visual developments of semantic web, starting from the idea of connecting discrete areas. This suggests that digital technologies could enhance the resources of the Warburg Library and iconographic database in ways that could not only reflect but also expand the original plan of his founder. This article will concern the potential reconfiguration, or “remapping”, of the Warburg’s Library resources in the digital environment and anticipates further developments. The main questions we will address are, first, how the “narrative space” of the Library can be “remediated” (Bolter/Grusin 2001) through new techniques of visualization, and, second, how Linked Data and new techniques of visualization can support, and hopefully augment, Warburg’s approach to cultural history. The article concludes with a case study, the mythological figure of Venus: its presence in the Library and iconographic classification, its potential for linking and visualizing as well as the anticipated impact of such approach on the process of knowledge production and on scholarly research.

 

Author Biographies

Emanuela Patti, The Media School, University of Bournemouth/IMLR, School of Advanced Study, University of London/

(MA UCL, Ph.D. University of Birmingham) is Senior Lecturer of Media Theory at the The Media School of the University of Bournemouth, Research Fellow at the Institute of Modern Languages Research, School of Advanced Study, University of London, University of London and Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Italian Studies at the University of Birmingham. She has written articles and essays on Pasolini and his appropriation of Dante, contemporary Italian literature and experimental narratives in cinema and literature. She is the editor of La nuova gioventù? L’eredità intellettuale di Pier Paolo Pasolini (Joker, 2009), co-editor, with Clodagh Brook, of Transmedia. Storie, memoria e narrazioni attraverso i media (Mimesis, 2015) and author of the forthcoming monograph Pasolini After Dante: The “Divine Mimesis” and the Politics of Representation (Oxford: Legenda, December 2015). She is about to start the AHRC-funded project Interdisciplinary Italy 1900-2020: Interart/Intermedia.

Francois Quiviger, The Warburg Institute, School of Advanced Study, University of London

B.A., M.A., University of Montreal; Ph.D. University of London, is Curator of Digital Resources at the Warburg Institute, University of London. He has taught and published on Renaissance art history and theory as well as on the history of sensation (The Sensory World of Italian Renaissance Art), London, 2010.

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Sitography

'Gods and Myths in the Warburg Institute', http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/gods-myths/

'Venus', http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/mnemosyne/Venus_kbw.pdf

'Orientation, 3rd-4th floor', http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/Library/maps/orientation-3rd-4th- floor/#c1008

'Library guides at the Warburg Institute', http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/Library/guides/

'Laughter display at the Warburg Library', http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/library/guides/laughter/

'Iconographic database at the Warburg Library', http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/photographic-collection/iconographic-database/

'Mnemosyne: Meanderings through Aby Warburg's Atlas', http://warburg.library.cornell.edu/

Filmography

Venus in Furs, Dir. Roman Polanski, France, 2013.

Published
2014-12-17
How to Cite
Patti, E., & Quiviger, F. (2014). “Linking Venus”. New Technologies of Memory and the Reconfiguration of Space at the Warburg Library. Between, 4(8). https://doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/1349
Section
Visual Technologies and Digital Arts