"The Smithsonian Institute's 'HistoryWired: A few of our favorite things' is an experimental programme through which you can take a virtual tour of selected objects from the vast collections of the National Museum of American History. The 450 items are clustered into groups such as home, clothing, business, computers,... and linked to attributes such as politics, medicine, and science. Users can click to get more details, search by attributes or filter by time period. This novel web site invites users to record their level of interest for items, which grow in size as they get higher scores."
(Shiralee Saul, 2002)
"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."
[Warburg's impulses follow the logic of the hypertext - where multiple intersecting sequences are able to reside.]
"A complete and authentic vampire killing kit - made around 1800 and complete with stakes, mirrors, a gun with silver bullets, crosses, a Bible, holy water, candles and even garlic, all housed in a American walnut case with a carved cross on top - attained $14,850 in the Jimmy Pippen estate sale by Stevens October 3-4 in the new Natchez Convention Center."
"Wunderkammern, or cabinets of curiosities, arose in mid-sixteenth-century Europe as repositories for all manner of wondrous and exotic objects. In essence these collections—combining specimens, diagrams, and illustrations from many disciplines; marking the intersection of science and superstition; and drawing on natural, manmade, and artificial worlds—can be seen as the precursors to museums. This exhibition presents a contemporary interpretation of the traditional cabinet of curiosities, bringing together a diverse selection of works by twentieth- and twenty-first-century artists who have likewise felt the pull of unusual and extraordinary objects and phenomena. The works on display include prints, books, multiples, drawings, and photographs, with subjects ranging from architectural marvels and blueprints for impossible machines to oddities from the animal, vegetable, and mineral worlds. Featured artists include Hans Bellmer, Peter Blake, Louise Bourgeois, Max Ernst, and Damien Hirst, among others."
"the constitution of heterogeneity as a world of objects separate and distinct from the viewing subject. The 'heterogeneous' world is identifiable with the position of the objectivised subject during the Renaissance and that identification is organised through similitude into an homology between a viewing subject and a multifarious object world. If the classical age can be said to be about anything it is, as Foucault has shown, about the move away from ways of knowing through similitude to ways of knowing through mathesis and representation (Foucault, M.1989. The Order of Things). While we might take issue with the speed and degree of completion of this epistemic shift, representation as a way of knowing, as a form of gaze, comes to be constituted through the separation of the subject from the world and the development of an idea of material heterogeneity as something Other to that subject."
(Hetherington, Kevin. 1999 p.51-73)
[Hooper-Greenhill's (quoted in Hetherington 1999) contention is that during the Renaissance the dominant approach to understanding was informed by ways of knowing through similitude. She contrasts this approach with ways of knowing through, what Foucault calls mathesis (Foucault 2003), and representation. Hooper-Greenhill's discussion is useful for understanding Western understanding's general shift after this period towards nomological strategies and the rise of Modernism. She presents her analysis in reference to the emergence of the cabinets of curiosity during the Baroque period in Europe which became the forerunners to the Modern museum and fine art galleries.]
Foucault, M. (2003). The Order Of Things. London, Routledge: 156-158.
Hetherington, K. (1999). From Blindness to Blindness: Museums, Heterogeneity and the Subject. Actor Network Theory And After. J. Law and J. Hassard.
Hooper-Greenhill, E. (1992). Museums and the Construction of Knowledge. Leicester, Leicester University Press.