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Att sammanföra i tanke och bild: Kunskapens visuella gestaltning i Aby Warburgs Bilderatlas Mnemosyne
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of ALM.
2015 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
To combine in thought and image : Visual configurations of knowledge in Aby Warburg’s Bilderatlas Mnemosyne. (English)
Abstract [en]

This study aims to explore the visual knowledge organization of Aby Warburg’s Bilderatlas Mnemosyne by tracing some of the essential lines in his thinking and relating these to the conceptualization and realization of the atlas project. The image atlas – which at the time of Warburg’s death in 1929 remained unfinished – can be described as a synoptical and experimental didactic instrument, a monumental work in progress conceived to guide art historical thought, which in Warburg’s research expands into a pluridisciplinary field of ”kulturwissenschaftlicher Bildgeschichte”.

Within its historical context the Mnemosyne atlas can be seen as an object of critical knowledge that, in presenting art history as an open and mobile visual structure, evades the universalistic aims of encyclopaedic projects. Drawing upon Foucault’s archaeological examination of the humanities in The Order of Things and Agamben’s reflection on method – and specifically on the notion of the paradigm – in The Signature of All Things, I argue that the Mnemosyne atlas with its non-linear arrangement and associative technique should be read in its relation to a pre-encyclopaedic knowledge culture where similarity, kinship and analogy, rather than division, taxonomy and binarity, rule the organization of the world and its objects. This allows us to better understand the scientific foundations of the atlas and to perceive its ongoing compilation of documents as a systematic procedure. Lastly, the study also emphazises the vicinity between Warburg’s image atlas and his library, both in the physical space of his research institute in Hamburg and as a mode of thought.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 67 p.
Uppsatser inom biblioteks- & informationsvetenskap, ISSN 1650-4267 ; 677
Keyword [sv]
Aby Warburg, Mnemosyne, bildatlas, kunskapsorganisation, konsthistoriografi
National Category
Information Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-269733Local ID: 677OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-269733DiVA: diva2:885058
Subject / course
Library and Information Science
Educational program
Master Programme in ALM
Available from: 2016-01-13 Created: 2015-12-17 Last updated: 2016-01-13Bibliographically approved

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