A Strange Country: Bill Brandt in Jarrow, 1937

Distinguished Professor John Tagg’s essay on Bill Brandt’s journey to the Depression-hit North-East of England in 1937 has just appeared in Bill Brandt l Henry Moore, edited by Martina Droth and Paul Messier, and published by the Yale Center for British Art and Yale University Press. The publication accompanies the exhibition Bill Brandt l Henry Moore organized by the Yale Center for British Art in conjunction with The Hepworth Wakefield. The exhibition will move from The Hepworth Wakefield to the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, at the end of June 2020.

Nancy Um to speak at the University of Chicago

De haven van Mocha, 1616, Adriaen Matham, 1646. Courtesy Rijksmuseum

Nancy Um will deliver a lecture at the Neubauer Collegium at the University of Chicago on Friday, Feburary 14, 2020, at 12 pm. The talk is entitled, “From City to Text to Image: Pieter van den Broecke and Safi ibn Vali in Seventeenth-Century Mocha.”

Jeffrey West Kirkwood in the Universalenzyklopädie der menschlichen Klugheit

Prof. Jeffrey West Kirkwood’s essay appears in a new collected volume honoring the media theorist Prof. Bernhard Siegert. The text considers a schizoaffective condition that emerged in the late 1990s and has been termed “internet delusion.” Where such afflictions seem to merely add to the techno-pathological intrigue associated with cases of hallucinated “influencing machines”—from John Haslam to Viktor Tausk—Kirkwood argues that what they actually reveal are core issues specific to the information age.

Tom McDonough on Leonor Antunes

Prof. Tom McDonough’s essay “Weaving a World,” on Portuguese sculptor Leonor Antunes (b. 1972) has appeared in The Last Days at Galliate, a monograph accompanying her 2018-19 exhibition at the Pirelli HangarBicocca in Milan. Her creations aim at a physical experience measurable with the perception of memory.
With her sculptures, Antunes reinterprets the history of art, design, and architecture of the twentieth century, and in particular the tradition of Modernism in its most radical and experimental instances. Inspired by the work of artists, architects, and designers, Antunes conducts careful research on their projects, studies their proportions and measurements and, after selecting some details and fragments, transforms them into new forms and elegant artworks.

Book Launch in Ukraine

More than two hundred people gathered on October 29 in Kyiv, Ukraine, for the launch of a new translation of The Burden of Representation by Distinguished Professor John Tagg. Published by Rodovid and translated by Yustyna Kravchuk, the Ukranian edition has a new afterword and new and expanded illustrations. The photographs below show preparations for the book launch in Rodovid’s offices; Yustyna Kravchuk, the translator; Maria Panchenko, project coordinator; Alona Solomadina, designer; and the audience that gathered for the talks. Rudi Giuliani, however, couldn’t be there.

Professor Karen-edis Barzman presents paper at the Newberry Library in Chicago

Cosimo Bartoli, Del modo di misurare (Venice 1564), Book IV, Ch. 1 (fol. 98v).
Newberry Library, Case 4A 3212 Vault

Professor Karen-edis Barzman presented a paper on Friday, November 1, 2019, as part of the Seminar on European Art at the Newberry Library in Chicago, where she holds a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for the academic year 2019-20.

The First Italian Guide to Mapping the State: Book IV in Cosimo Bartoli’s Del modo di misurare(1564)

Cosimo Bartoli’s Del modo di misurare(first edition, 1564) is known as a practical guide for measuring lines, planes, and solids, applied to things like the height of a tower, depth of a well, or volume of a barrel, which belong to what Bartoli terms “private interests.” Largely overlooked is Book IV, which Bartoli devotes to the mensuration of “public” things – fortresses, cities and, primarily, provinces. This section of the treatise, Barzman argues, comprised the first practical guide in Italian on mapping the state. The text entered print in Venice, where systematic mapping first arrived in a government archive. This watershed in the history of cartography occurred in 1460 and turned on assumptions Venetian administrators shared about the efficacy of pictures in storing and delivering geospatial data. Barzman’s aim is to examine the treatise in relation to cartographic practice undertaken for the Venetian republic in the management of its transregional state while also contributing to a genealogy of mapping as an information technology. Of particular interest, in addition to the operations of mapping itself, are the treatise’s woodcut illustrations and instructions on crafting the necessary sighting and measuring devices, as well as detailed guidelines for transferring the data to paper (e.g., plotting locations, scaling distances) These occur in passages that are fodder for the “expanded hermeneutics” of media studies, where attention is turned to the technical artifacts of new media rather than the contents of their products.