WARBURG REVISITED: Part 1: Quantum Warburg

  • articlepress book2008.10.15CENTQUATREVUE, 104 CENTQUATRE, Paris, France
    article, Ayssar Arida, city2.0, web2.0, warburg

    It took exactly 70 years between the death of Aby Warburg in 1929 and the full publication in English of his oeuvre “The Renewal of Pagan Antiquity” on 9/9/1999 (!) by Getty Publications, effectively delivering his seminal thought from the confines of purely academic research.

    Readers familiar with my theory of the “70-year itch” will recognise in the recent rediscovery of the unique mind of Aby Warburg a typical example of a precocious idea the time of which has finally come – 70 years after its first conception.

    Warburg had an initial intuition that the history of culture was becoming too atomised, too segregated into mutually exclusive disciplines – too formal and too formalistic. In this short multi-part article, I would like to catalyse a reflection about the context that makes this intuition relevant again, and question what would Warburg’s project be if he were alive today. This will obviously be an excuse to introduce a few asides and to smudge some disciplinary boundaries of our own.