Working notes from the Scandinavian Institute for Computational Vandalism

Author Archives: Ellef Prestsæter

Operationalizing Aby Warburg’s Atlas of images

Franco Moretti presents collaborative project (with Leonardo Impett) on computational approaches to Aby Warburg’s image atlas. Formulating pathos, faces are irrelevant. Clarity is not option, it’s a constraint. A strange encounter of qualitative and quantitative …


Very interested in the situological and situographical development of topology. It will be necessary to stay rapidly informed of all the scientific conclusions about this — and to adapt or détourn them. The primary force of our position is to intervene therein as an artistic activity (with a game of gestures raised to the dignity of […]

Sehen wie ein Scanner

Culture has not only created epistemology, but indeed also signal-processing machines, which are then by definition detached from culture: they do not ‘count’ semantic aspects; they do not view images as icons; they do not perceive sound as music; and they read texts with the aesthetics of a scanner, by Optical Character Recognition. Wolfgang Ernst: […]

Scandinavia is a joke

Ellef Prestsæter: Did you feel that you were collecting evidence for a specific archaeological argument? Jacqueline de Jong: Yes, sure! It was the argument that there had been people, like the Visigoths, travelling all over the globe. Jorn wanted to show that the images are the same in Italy, Spain, Portugal, wherever you go.

Agatha Christie smoking Asger Jorn’s cigar

Ellef Prestsæter: Readers of Concreta, beware! … Engaging with you, Asger, in the context of this special issue on Vandalism and Iconoclasm calls for a strict demarcation between vandalism on the one hand and iconoclasm on the other. While the Scandinavian Institute of Comparative Vandalism (SICV) connects you intimately with the concept of vandalism you […]

Black boxing conversion

[…] Bernhard Siegert: In a way, you can describe the business of cultural techniques as the opening up of black boxes. If you think of concepts or even symbols as black boxes, when you open them up, what comes out are cultural techniques. One of the things I have been studying recently is the very […]

Bindings II (nobody knows what a book is)

The Book as Diagram

“People say that nobody knows what a book is any more. It is observed that people sit on trains, or buses and in waiting rooms and where a few years ago they would have been reading a book, they will instead be consoled at their phone doing some data processing. This might be the case, […]