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Manuscript (Lanz, Eric), 1994

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take on the figure of the collector.

Eric Lanz' 1994 «Manuskript» had already realized a related CD-Rom. Hegedüs's work illuminates an object's horizon of meaning, Lanz is interested in the ‹language of things›. Multi-media transposition of video material into a visual text on a pictorial panel enables him to present an exemplary visual history of the concrete use of hand tools. It functions as an artistic project without any reference structure or database and without any accompanying explanatory text. The objects are neither identified nor embedded in the context they come from. Comenius' «Orbis Pictus,» the famous predecessor of encyclopaedic picture atlases, relied on explanatory links between image, plot description and alphabetical order, while «Manuskript» transposes a kind of visual topology of tools in a multi-media way. The charm of this reading matter, which is also poetic, lies in the often surprising difference between outward appearance and actual use. By connecting text and animated reality, Lanz achieves a vividness that an encylopaedia entry, however lavishly illustrated, could never match. So «Manuskript» demonstrates that it is possible to go


beyond iconographic art history and not just conceive the topological constitution of an objective universal history, but also implement it exemplarily.

Universal image store

Quantitative restriction to a small, finite number of ‹things in use› could now be expanded beyond an artist's limited resources into a dimension that was just as universal. The Institut für wissenschaftlichen Film (Institute of Academic Film; IWF) in Göttingen had made a start on an «Encyclopedia Cinematographica» project as a comprehensive cinematic documentation of movement sequences from 1952 onwards: «A matrix is intended to record all movement forms of all genres and present these exemplarily as movement specimens lasting for about two minutes." [15] The hubris of an enterprise of this kind can be seen immediately, as the researchers involved call their «cinematograms» «specimens.» The project initiator, Gotthard Wolf, actually thought he would prepare hundreds of thousands of such «specimens» in order to be able to classify movements universally. [16]

A project for a database of visual lexemes was

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