Ideographies of Knowledge/Session 3

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Ideographies of Knowledge

A symposium unfolding from the intention to reflect upon the legacy of Paul Otlet and his work from the perspective of today's knowledge archives.

Saturday, 3 October 2015
Mundaneum, Rue de Nimy 76, Mons, Belgium

"Once one read; today one refers to, checks through, skims." – Paul Otlet, 1903

Session 3. Sets and Settings – The Poetics of Collections[edit]

13.30 – 14:15 H

A collection brings objects into new relationships and configurations, also setting boundaries between them as members and others as the excluded. The work of including and excluding objects in a collection and of designing their relations is a kind of world-making, a telling of a story. What is the nature of this storytelling and how to read between the lines?

Moderated by Michael Murtaugh.
Video by Stefan Piat.

Matthew Fuller – Hans Haacke: Shapolsky et al. Manhattan Real Estate Holdings, A Real Time Social System, as of May 1, 1971[edit]

This art work is part of Haacke’s period of interest in systems, and shows the inter-relation of shell-companies in the ownership of a small number of properties in New York.

Tomislav Medak – Write-off[edit]

The process of writing off books from a library collection is permanent negotiation between the library's limited resources and the unending flood of printed matter continuously entering the library. However, not all use of the books is exhausted in reading. In fact most of the books in a library never or rarely ever leave the shelves. Hence, the write-off triage of books that are never lent and that need to go is never simply a question of technical criteria (and, as we know, the technical criteria are least of all merely technical). Libraries' work at classifying and ordering, displaying or suppressing, triaging or writing off is a subtle work of shaping class, culture and national identity, a work of political ordering and classifying. Except that sometimes that work is not so subtle at all, as when Serbian, Cyrillic or Socialist books were exorcised from the Croatian libraries in the 90s in an uncoordinated yet systematic manner.

Matěj Strnad – (Your own) Google Image search results for: 1) library 2) museum 3) archive[edit]

In my main field of work, one way of understanding institutions is by asking about their name and mission – I am confronted with film archives, film museums and cinematheques ("filmbraries"). This probably applies to a wider scope of agenda and our concept of library/museum/archives: is there still a difference and do we want to maintain it? Google Image apparently thinks so.

Femke Snelting – Meeting Madame C.[edit]

About the consequences of lives intersecting with the universe of the archive. The story includes two appearances of Madame C (almost a century apart), and two inventorized cats. With Meeting Madame C. I'd like to bring to the table/⁠⁠discuss the extensive care networks involved in maintaining knowledge.

Geraldine Juárez – Intercolonial Technogalactic[edit]

Essay about the emergence of the Google Cultural Institute and the colonial impulse that sustain the accumulation of cultural artifacts in a planetary scale.
Organizing information is never innocent.


Continue to other sessions