Paul Otlet's infinite inventory

Date :
07/04/2019 to 06/10/2019
Place :
au Mundaneum
Public :
tout public, scientifique, artistes
Price :
7€ - 5€ - 2€

Visualize knowledge, understand the world

The visionary schematic of Paul Otlet at the heart of 3 exhibitions! (Mons - Grand Hornu - Paris)
As part of the 30th anniversary of the creation of the world wide web

Very often, History leaves numerous men and women along the way. Thanks to their works, new and innovative ideas emerged as it was for the WORLD WIDE WEB.

Long before the advent of the computer, the works of the Belgian jurist Paul Otlet (1868 - 1944) where incredible. It is now studied from the angle of the archeology of the web. Considered the father of modern documentation, Otlet continues to fascinate more than 70 years after his death. Founder of the Mundaneum (Mons, Belgium), he was a forerunner in fields as diverse as bibliography, schematics, remediation of encyclopaedic knowledge, visualization of knowledge, museography. It leaves us as inheritance the utopia of a "knowledge laboratory for peace" with, in point of culmination, its flagship project of World City designed with Le Corbusier, to "put stones around ideas"

Between Arts and Science, the Mundaneum Exhibition Commission will be represented by Denis Gielen, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Arts "Le Mac’s" (GrandHornu) and Stéphanie Manfroid, Mundaneum Archivist.

OPENING April 7th 11.00

GRAND HORNU - MONS - PARIS : One figure from the History of Information Sciences : 3 exhibitions

The exhibition is part of a larger project. From April 2019, the internationally renowned artist Fiona Tan (of Indonesian origin, residing in Amsterdam) will dedicate an original exhibition presented at the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Federation Wallonia Brussels (the Mac's in Hornu, near Mons) on the theme of "Shadow Archive." Fiona Tan, who places memory at the heart of her thinking, is not the first to take an interest in Otlet's heritage for the purpose of artistic reinterpretation. Many artists consult the Mundaneum archives for produce a remediation, like the American Molly Springfield with "The Proto-History of the Internet", the collective "Animarchives", Constant on the project "Mondothèque", and many others.

In resonance with these two exhibitions, will be held at the Museum of CNAM (National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts) in Paris a temporary exhibition on the schematic of Otlet, pioneer of visualization of knowledge: May 6, 2019 - June 30, 2019 for wich the curator will be Wouter Van Acker.

A study day will take place on May 21st in Paris.

The exhibition "Infinite inventory" is in the wake of the exhibition "Mapping Knowledge: Understanding the world through data" presented at the Mundaneum in June 2015 on the occasion of Mons, European Capital of Culture. This led to the publication of a virtual exhibition curated by Dr. Wouter Van Acker (Université Libre de Bruxelles).

« Toutes les choses de l’univers, et toutes celles de l’homme seraient enregistrées à distance à mesure qu’elles se produiraient. Ainsi serait établie l’image mouvante du monde, sa mémoire, son véritable double. Chacun à distance pourrait lire le passage lequel, agrandi et limité au sujet désiré, viendrait se projeter sur l’écran individuel. Ainsi, chacun dans son fauteuil pourrait contempler la création, en son entier ou en certaines de ses parties. »

Paul Otlet in « Monde : essai d’universalisme: connaissance du monde, sentiment du monde, action organisée et plan du monde », 1935

« Ici, la table de travail n’est plus chargée d’aucun livre. A leur place se dresse un écran et à portée un téléphone. Là-bas, au loin, dans un édifice immense, sont tous les livres et tous les renseignements. De là, on fait apparaître sur l’écran la page à lire pour connaître la question posée par téléphone. »
Paul Otlet, le traité de documentation, 1934

« Tout le monde devrait venir découvrir cette utopie. Lorsqu’il s’agit d’Histoire, nous avons souvent la mémoire courte en Belgique, je considère Otlet comme un héros belge typique. Il s’agit d’un personnage improbable que l’on ne peut s’empêcher d’aimer »
François Schuiten

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