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<nettime> Orbis Pictus - Theatrum Mundi
Tjebbe van Tijen on Fri, 20 Jun 2008 04:19:44 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Orbis Pictus - Theatrum Mundi

The "Orbis Pictus/Theatrum Mundi Congress" will take place in October  
2008 in Amsterdam, its aim is to give a 21st century perspective on  
World, Picture and Theatre; it is the 9th international congress of  
the Gesellschaft f?r Theaterwissenschaft".

The call for papers has been written by Kati R?ttger who is the new  
professor for theatre science at the University of Amsterdam. It  
opens with the following statement:

"When Johannes Comenius died in 1670 in Amsterdam, he left behind a  
comprehensive, revolutionary humanistic work, with which he sought to  
champion for world peace through education. His text Orbis sensualium  
pictus: The visible world (1658) is the first European school text  
book, a teaching tool replete with pictures and texts, which aimed at  
employing sensual, pictorial observation to arrive at an  
understanding concepts and thus to an extensive system of  
knowledge.#01 At the end of the Thirty Years' War, Comenius sought to  
counter the old theological moral systems with a new order of  
universal world knowledge laid down his Didactica Magna. (1657) #02  
One century later his didactical ideas can be found in a proposal of  
Georg Crhistoph Lichtenberg for an "Orbis pictus for German  
dramatists, novelists and actors" (1780). #03 At roughly the same  
time, the figure of Theatrum Mundi began to acquire an enormous  
heuristic energy as a metaphor for viewing the world, for the world  
as stage, for the art of viewing. It was a metaphor that underlined  
the endeavour of that period to conceive the world (Schramm 1996).  
#04 The bracketing of the modern topoi of Orbis Pictus and that of  
Theatrum Mundi informs the thematic scope of the conference by way of  
offering a historical perspective on the interrelation between world,  
picture and theatre under the present conditions of globalisation.  
This invites debating the question of the relevance of these two  
concepts in describing a culture of knowledge that places picture and  
text in a new mutual relationship, particularly against the backdrop  
of the global effects of digitised mass media."

The full text can be found at


The website of the congress is both in German and English. The  
website has been constructed in such a way that it expresses the  
content of the conference also in a visual way. A series of panoramic  
scrolls will display the ideas of the conference, the first one is  
now on-line "Orbis Digitalium Pictus" and other ones will soon  
follow: "Dionysia and other Pleasure Parades" and "Kirkus and Arena,  
a visual history of mass audience facilities."

The dead-line for submitting abstracts/proposals for the conference  
has just been extended to July 1. 2008.

Tjebbe van Tijen
Imaginary Museum Projects
Dramatizing Historical Information

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