Google and the World Brain in Cracow

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.

For more details in Polish visit this site.

Spaces of Knowledge

Back in 2010, when I started to work as a secretary of the board of the Autoportret quarterly, 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.

Autoportret 44 - Spaces of Knowledge