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30 DECEMBER 2008

classifying according to context and relation

"Warburg always moved the books and re–classified them according to his personal assumptions and spontaneous ideas, for the significance of every book depended on its context within the library, its neighbourhood on the shelf. In this respect, the entire library was moving most of the time during its setting up in Hamburg."
(Mathias Bruhn)

[Warburg's impulses follow the logic of the hypertext – where multiple intersecting sequences are able to reside.]

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TAGS

Aby Warburg • Aby Warburg Institute • cabinet of curiositiesclassificationconstellationscontextcontingencydialogicformGermanyHamburghypertextinformation in contextintegration • kunstkammer • librarymetaphorordering • rüstkammer • relationrepositorysequencestructuresystemtacticwunderkammer

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
16 APRIL 2007

Lakoff And Johnson's Conceptual Metaphor

"To account for the specific properties of both linguistic and visual media, an innovative approach combining linguistic and art–historical perspectives was chosen. Principles of the theory of conceptual metaphor developed by Lakoff and Johnson (1980, 1999; Lakoff, 1987, 1990, 1993; Johnson 1987, 1992, Sweetser 1987, 1990) were applied to images of grammar, collected in the iconographic tradition founded by Aby Warburg and Erwin Panofsky (1955; 1979). Lakoff and Johnson (1980) state that "our ordinary conceptual system, in terms we both think and act, is fundamentally metaphorical in nature" (p. 3) and define the essence of metaphor as "understanding and experiencing one kind of thing in terms of another" (p. 5). They further posit that "meaning and value are grounded in the nature of our bodies and brains, and in our physical, social, and cultural environments" (Johnson 1992:346) and place the bodily, or sensorial perception in the centre of their theory claiming that embodied image–schemas conceptualize our experience at a non–propositional level (Johnson 1992:349). This study is based on the assumption that these image–schemas underlie both linguistic and pictorial expressions, and that our perceptual system and image–based reasoning is grounded not only in direct experience, but also conditioned by indirect experience mediated through cultural artifacts such as printed words and pictures.[1]

Johnson, Mark (1987): The Body in the Mind. The Bodily Basis of Meaning, Imagination, and Reason, Chicago.
Johnson, Mark (1992): ?Philosophical implications of cognitive semantics.?, in: Cognitive Linguistics, 3, 345–366.
Lakoff, George (1987): Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things. What Categories reveal about the Mind, Chicago.
Lakoff, George (1990): ?The Invariance Hypothesis: ?Is abstract Reason based on Image–Schema???, in: Cognitive Linguistics, 1–1, 39–74.
Lakoff, George (1993): ?The contemporary theory of metaphor?, in: Ortony, Andrew (ed.), Metaphor and Thought. 2nd. ed., Cambridge, 202–251.
Lakoff, George/Johnson, Mark (1980): Metaphors we live by, Chicago.
Lakoff, George/Johnson, Mark (1999): Philosophy in the Flesh. The embodied mind and its challenge to western thought, New York.
Panofsky, Erwin (1955): Meaning in the Visual Arts, New York.
Panofsky, Erwin (1979): ?Zum Problem der Beschreibung und Inhaltsdeutung von Werken der bildenden Kunst?, in: Kaemmerling, Ekkehard (ed.): Bildende Kunst als Zeichensystem. Ikonographie und Ikonologie. Theorien–Entwicklung–Probleme, K?ln, 185–206.
Sweetser, Eve (1987): ?Metaphorical Models of Thought and Speech: a comparison of historical directions and metaphorical mappings in the two domains?, in: Aske, Jon/Beery, Natasha/Michaelis, Laura/Filip, Hana (edd.): Proceedings of the Thirteenth Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society, Berkeley, 446–459.
Sweetser, Eve (1990): From Etymology to Pragmatics: Metaphorical and Cultural Aspects of Semantic Structure, Cambridge."
(Irene Mittelberg)

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TAGS

Aby Warburgconceptual metaphor • conceptual system • cultural codes • cultural environments • experienceGeorge Lakoffgrammariconography • image-based reasoning • image-schemalinguisticMark Johnsonmeaningmediationmetaphor • Mittelberg • mnemonicMnemosyne Atlas • Panofsky • perceptual system • sensorial perception • Sweetser • visual media
12 APRIL 2005

Mnemosyne-Atlas: Visual Clustering Through Good Company

"[Aby Warburg's Mnemosyne–Atlas] is fundamentally [an] attempt to combine the philosophical with the image–historical approach [of information organisation]. Attached on wooden boards covered with black cloth are photographs of images, reproductions from books, and visual materials from newspapers and/or daily life, which Warburg arranges in such a way that they illustrate one or several thematic areas. ... [Images in the atlas are] not ordered according to visual similarity, evident in the sense of an iconographic history of style; but rather through relationships caused by an affinity for one another and the principle of good company, which let themselves be reconstructed through the study of texts."
(Rudolf Frieling, Media Art Net)

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10 APRIL 2005

Giulio Camillo's Memory Theatre

"The Renaissance marks a turning point in the history of academic practice. As the knowledge and understanding of the world became more complex, oral discourse, based uniquely on mentally archived facts, was no longer an adequate means of storing information. The increasing number of knowledge theories and models required dissemination facilitated by the printing press, which perpetrated and accelerated the accumulation of written knowledge. Information could be more easily recalled as the library became the new 'palace of memory'. With regard to the structure, summoning and visualisation of stored information, mnemonic treatises of the Gutenberg Era abandon the presentation of individual storage strategies. In place of these, systems of arranging and visualising the by now immense knowledge of the world itself were developed. One example was the well–known Memory Theatre of Giulio Camillo. (Fig.1)

Based on the seven pillars of Solomon's House of Wisdom, it was divided into seven levels representing the order of the world from the seven planets up to Arts and Sciences, Religion and Law. The accumulated knowledge was presented in images, symbols and texts, some of them immediately visible, others confined to drawers, boxes or coffers beneath the images."

(Katja Kwastek)

Fig. 1. Reconstruction of the memory theatre of Giulio Camillo. Reproduced after: Aby Warburg: Der Bilderatlas Mnemosyne, Warnke, M. (ed.), Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2000, p. 85.

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TAGS

Aby Warburgallegoryconceptual metaphorEuropean Renaissance • Giulio Camillo • Johannes Gutenberglibrarymemorymemory palace • memory theatre • mnemonic • palace of memory • Solomon • Solomons House of Wisdom • storage
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