The Tower of Babel by Bruegel ca. 1563

Course Syllabus

Starting with the architectural – where the students made a physical, empirical prototype (Assignment 1, readings: Arjun Appadurai’s Archive and Aspiration, Jorge Luis Borges’ Library of Babel, Carl Sagan video on the Tesseract and 4th Dimension geomerty) that served as scalable object for archiving and displaying knowledge. This prototype remained as reference and inspiration through to the end of the course;

The reticular remains at centre – as graphic and sculptural demonstration (Assignment 2, readings: H.J. Rheinberger’s Making- Visible, Michel Foucault’s Order of Things chapter on Classifying, and Jacques Derrida’s Introduction and Exergue in Archive Fever, Into Eternity film by Michael Madsen) that aimed to explore and challenge the ideas about cataloguing, classification, distribution, and the problem of memory and retrieval found in Assignment 1;

The third phase as the architectonic – where the group works a priori, individually and collectively towards an exhibition (Assignment 3 and Final Presentation, reading: Gerald Raunig’s A Thousand Machines chapter on Abstract Machines) about the theoretical and physical notions of archives towards environmental form. – Luis Berríos-Negrón



due:  07.01 (Dienstag), 13:30

Build: a prototype of an archive based on your interpretation of Borges’

Library of Babel. To do so, do the following, not necessarily in this order


due:  07.01 (Dienstag), 13:30

read: Archive and Aspiration (A. Appedurai), Making Visible… (H.J.
Rheinberger) both essays are here attached, you are free to find read them in
any language you prefer.

present: three (3) questions in writing (digital file, and in print) based on
these essays above, we will review and discuss all your questions in class.


due:  13.01 (Montag), 13:30

Build an image of your proposed, initial archive filtered through one, two and or / all
three categorical examples of scientific visualization (Compression and Dilation,
Enhancement, Schematization) explained by Prof. H.J. Rheinberger in his essay
Making Visible. Visualization in the Sciences – and in Exhibitions? Focus on asking
yourself: what is visualization and making-visible in regards to your idea of an archive?;
how this reflects on your preconceptions about technical-architectural drawing /
representation?; how you might want to explore your work as spatial science?


due: 16.01, 10:00
Produce a 300 to 500 word text and a new visualization (2d or 3d) describing: a. What does your archive contain and how is that related to your idea of the future?; b. How is it classified and retrieved?


due: 22.01, 9:00

Continue developing your archive as we discussed individually.

Bring at least one process visualization.

Prepare a preliminary schematization about how you will present your project, where
will it be located and what media will you use.

Think about your definition of the 4 th dimension, how it has, or not, changed since you
started the course, for example, considering the notions of “Preparät” (Rheinberger)
and the “Hypercube” / “Tesseract” (Schläfli).  –



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