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Totentanz. Operationalizing Aby Warburg’s Atlas of images
Date
2017-01-26
Main contributor
Franco Moretti
Summary
Aby Warburg’s last and most ambitious project, the Atlas Mnemosyne – conceived in 1926 and truncated three years later by Warburg’s sudden death – consists of a series of large black panels, on which are attached black-and-white photographs of paintings, sculptures, tarot cards, stamps, coins, and other types of images. Its thousand images are unified by Warburg’s greatest conceptual creation: the idea of the Pathosformel, or formula for the expression of extreme passion. In this talk, the reflection on the Pathosformel will take the unusual form of an attempt at “operationalizing” the concept, transforming it into a series of quantitative operations. The resulting model is then used to analyze the evidence assembled by Warburg in Mnemosyne, and to gain a new understanding of how extreme emotional states are represented in painting. 
Publisher
Indiana University William T. Patten Foundation
Collection
Patten Lecture Series
Unit
IUScholarWorks Repository
Language
English
Notes

Franco Moretti
Danily C. and Laura Louise Bell
Professor in the Humanities
Stanford University

Venue/Event Date

Date 01-26-2017
Time 7:30–9 p.m.
Location Presidents Hall, Franklin Hall