Blog of a three-year research project "Calendars and chronology in the intellectual culture of Central Europe, 1400-1700". Project funded by the Polish National Science Centre within the FUGA programme for postdoctoral fellows and carried out at the Faculty of "Artes Liberales" of the University of Warsaw
Few years ago I had the occasion to observe the heroic beginnings of the Virtual Museums of Lesser Poland (Wirtualne Muzea Małopolski, hereafter WMM) project which is aimed at the three-dimensional photographic documentation of selected historical exhibit items from the museums scattered throughout this historical region of Poland. Back then, apart from being a PhD student at the Jagiellonian University, I worked as editor at the Autoportret quarterly and thanks to the fact that both the magazine and the WMM project are based at the same institution allowed me to observe fragmentarily the selection of the equipment and listen to some of discussions about first test sessions.
Few years later, in the fall of 2014, I received a letter from Kinga Kołodziejska of the WMM. It turned out that apart from the traditional (albeit 3D) presentation of the items the team created a section dedicated to a more elaborate interpretations or essays based on the pieces presented in the online collection and written by scholars coming from various corners of academia. Kinga asked me to write a piece on broadly understood time and the offer was simply too tempting to turn it down. Unfortunately, time was not on our side and the final version of my essay had to wait up until the vernal equinox of 2016 to see the digital daylight. But here it is, in Polish and English, available for browsing and downloading and provided with awesome graphic interpretation designed by Anna Zabdyrska.
I wish to thank the WMM team for their invitation and patience and I kindly invite readers of CU to dive into the river of time.
Some time ago I announced the publication of the issue of Autoportret quarterly dedicated to the relationship of space and knowledge. Since a number of articles gathered in this issue touches upon the problem of digitization and of what Google does with our brains (and metadata we leave behind), we decided to organize a screening of Google and the World Brain, a fabulous documentary by Ben Lewis, which is dedicated to the Google Books Projects and corporation from Mountain View.
If you happen to be in Cracow on the 7th of May, feel invited to come to the Forum Przestrzenie club at 7:30 p.m. to see the movie and join the discussion which will be moderated by Jakub Danecki and myself.
Back in 2010, when I started to work as a secretary of the board of the Autoportretquarterly, a Kraków-based magazine dedicated to anthropology of space, it turned out that we shared some interest in the relationship between space, architecture and production of knowledge. It took some time before this idea ripened and could serve as a basis for the journal’s thematic issue and find its place in the editorial plan. But it finally happened and I am pleased to inform you that the issue of Autoportret on the spaces of knowledge has come of the press.
This information is addressed mostly to the Polish speaking readers of Chronologia Universalis, but I believe I owe the readers of this blog a brief overview of the issue as some of the articles may be of interest to them, even despite the language barrier. We are starting with the 2009 lecture on Google Books which was given by Robert Darnton at the Frankfurt Book Fair and published in his The Case for Books. Darnton’s essay is complemented by an impression on virtual graveyard written by the AESD collective, originally published at their website. I took the occasion to settle the score with issue which got my attention while I was working on my doctorate, i.e. the spatial metaphors of knowledge in early modern treatises which dovetails with an literary and visual essay prepared by Jakub Woynarowski, a Kraków artists and designer. There are two essays on cartography, one on the role of maps in building the identity in the Renaissance Poland-Lithuania, written by Jakub Niedźwiedź, and the other by Tomasz Kamusella, on the ideological role of historical atlases. The idea of the library is the strongest point of reference for the whole issue of the journal (cf. editorial questionnaire, interview with Dariusz Śmiechowski and photographic essay by Nicholas Grospierre) but there is also an article on the design of the Cité internationale universitaire de Paris by Katarzyna Mrugała. Finally, through essays by Matteo Trincas and Davide Pisu (Osmosis) as well as by Rossano Baronciani and Krzysztof Korżyk we are having a look at the problem of evolution (or devolution) of knowledge in the digital world.
It was a great pleasure for me to get back to the editorial work I left behind in Kraków and to stay in touch with this wonderful group of authors. I wish to thank the editors of the journal for their trust and support and I hope the future will bring us further opportunities to collaborate.
Below you will find the cover of this issue of Autoportret, designed by Anna Zabdyrska, and here you will find some further information in Polish.