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Which clippings match 'Thesaurus' keyword pg.1 of 1
20 MARCH 2006

Chris Marker's image-inventory: thesaurus rather than taxonomy

"[Chris] Marker's production of an inventory for his filmic archive through gathering – shooting, finding existing footage, and editing – is enabled by this double power of the image. On one hand, the image–inventory simply lists images as instances of a collection, allowing each to resonate on its own, evoking its own possible meaning, descriptions, feelings, and thoughts and on the other, the shared qualitative aspect that links the images creates a pictorial inventory or catalogue of the growing filmic archive. The particularity of this catalogue is noteworthy. In linking images or collection–items by shared qualitative criteria, rather than by qualitative measures, this inventory constitutes a thesaurus of the collection rather than a taxonomy or classification. For, whereas the former loosely groups instances conceptually (words/images sharing a concept), the latter tightly organises the archive nomologically (according to a law: alphabetically, chronologically, etc.). This difference is crucial: classification is linear, laying out flat the vast heterology that is the archive, taming difference through a system that is based on sameness – items or terms belonging to the same latter of the alphabet, originating in the same year, being related to the same place etc. – imposing order through a movement from the many to the one. The inventory–building of the thesaurus, on the other hand, is rhizomorphous, starting from similarities and affinities and proceeding three–dimensionally from the one to the many, from similarity to difference. The shared quality or concept, the broader term of the thesaurus, moves through analogical bifurcations and creates a network of related, narrower terms, and arborescence of possible meanings without a classificatory claim on, or hope for precision, certainty and unique locatability. As such, the thesaurus enables a radically different kind of access to the archive from that gained through classification. Classification privileges individual items of a collection through a structure which allows their precise tracking while the thesaurus creates a conceptual archive from the archive that highlights the connections between items."

(Uriel Orlow, 2002)

2). Orlow, Uriel (2002) 'Chris Marker: The Archival Powers of the Image'. In: Comay, Rebecca and Knechtel, John, (eds.) Alphabet city #8: lost in the archives. Alphabet City Media Inc., Toronto, Canada, pp. 436–451. ISBN 0887846432




affinity • arborescence • archivecatalogueChris Markerclassificationcollectionconceptual archivedifferencedigressive approachephemera • heterology • inventory • loose classification • multi-media collagistnetworknomologicalorderingpictorial inventoryrhizomerhizomorphousSans Soleil (1983)similaritytaxonomythesaurus • Uriel Orlow • video essayvideo synthesizervisual essay


Simon Perkins
15 APRIL 2005

Parole: dictionary of the contemporary city

"parole is a dynamic dictionary of the contemporary city, or at least this was the intention when it was launched in June 2000 in occasion of the 7th International Exhibition of Architecture at the Biennale in Venice, Italy.

Since then parole has become a vast, loose, heterogeneous website, probably less easily defined with such a stringent term as 'dictionary'.

Currently about 900 words, related to the transformation of the urban landscape, are organised in a hypermedia database, along with more than 1000 links to & from the Internet.

Images, texts, quotations, comments, fragments of text, links to external websites, videos, sounds, webcams are some of the scattered elements which constitute its fragmented mosaic.

parole acts as an open platform for information, discussion, archive, gathering of data, it is a place where much of the material included is directly provided by its users. As in a type of 'Borgesian' dream it establishes a permanently fluid and unstable mapping of the actual urban condition throughout the world, looking at the variations and alterations in language and in the discourse of several different disciplines. Neologisms, slang terms, theories, utopic projects, nicknames attributed to specific sites, urbanism, architecture, anthropology, contemporary art are some of the multiple material included in parole.

As its nature is permanently unstable and deprived of any hierarchy, parole is subject to shifts and alterations towards directions which are actually unpredictable.

In occasion of its different presentations within localised conditions, such as a museum or a gallery space, we have tried to accomplish a certain degree of interaction with the context, in order to allow the project to present a direct vision of the condition of the contemporary city in its permanent state of change."

(Gruppo A12, Udo Noll and Peter Scupelli)



2000anthropologyarchitecture • architecture biennale • categorisationcityclassificationdictionaryhypertextItalyJorge Luis Borgeslangue and paroleneologism • nicknames • orderingparoleslangtaxonomythesaurusurbanismutopia • Venice
08 OCTOBER 2003

Visual Thesaurus: relational algorithm

The Visual Thesaurus makes use of the pivoting 3D algorithm made popular by Che Tamahori in the mid 1990's. Tamahori developed an algorithm in Macromedia Director that he published on his Web site for designers to use. The code inspired many followers to develop their own interactive 3D applications, including serveral works in the Turux collection.



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