The Internet belongs to everyone. Let’s keep it that way.

Protect Net Neutrality
Loading presentation...

Present Remotely

Send the link below via email or IM


Present to your audience

Start remote presentation

  • Invited audience members will follow you as you navigate and present
  • People invited to a presentation do not need a Prezi account
  • This link expires 10 minutes after you close the presentation
  • A maximum of 30 users can follow your presentation
  • Learn more about this feature in our knowledge base article

Do you really want to delete this prezi?

Neither you, nor the coeditors you shared it with will be able to recover it again.


Network Paradigms: From Textile Objects to Complex Networks

Presentation at the Future of Historical Network Research Conference, Hamburg (

Sebastian Gießmann

on 6 April 2014

Comments (0)

Please log in to add your comment.

Report abuse

Transcript of Network Paradigms: From Textile Objects to Complex Networks

From Textile Objects to Complex Networks
Network Paradigms
Magazine cover of
“La science et la vie“
Color lithograph, May 1927.
Network Paradigms:
From Textile Objects to Complex Networks
Sebastian Gießmann (Siegen)
“The Future of Historical Network Research”
Hamburg, September 14, 2013

DVD still, 2004.
Mark Lombardi: George W. Bush, Harken Energy and Jackson Stephens,
c. 1979-90 (5th Version)
Drawing (Detail), 1999. 122,5 x 61 cm.
Color lithograph, January 1933. 22,8 x 16 cm.
Telephone Exchange in “Grand Hotel“, 1932
Vitaliano Donati: Della storia naturale marina dell'Adriatico (1750)
Alexander McKenzie:
ARPANET topology, December 1969
Drawing, undated.
Networks become part of Renaissance and Baroque knowledge in anatomy and natural history. Their shift towards circulatory and combinatorial machines also extends to spatial configurations.
Reticular Paradigm
Raymond Génieys:
Plan de Paris et ses
environs avec le tracé
général d'une
Distribution de Eaux
de l'Ourcq/de la Seine
Copper Engravings
by Adam, 1829.
22 x 32,5 cm.
Tempera on Wood, 1444.
Musée d'Art et d'Histoire, Geneva. 132 x 154 cm.
Konrad Witz: The Miracoulous Draught of Fishes
Georg Pencz: Tactus
Copper Engraving, 1544.
Henry Charles Beck: Tube Map, first sketch
Pencil and ink on checkered paper, 1931. 19 x 24,1 cm.
Henry Charles Beck: Tube Map
Frederick H. Stingemore: Underground Railways of London
Color lithograph, 1932. 14 x 16,6 cm.
Photograph, Oktober 29, 2011.
Networks derive from magic practices of binding and releasing. In Christianity they retain their ambivalent character: The fishing net as kingdom of heaven, the spider's web as an allegory of touch and sin.
Theological Paradigm
All networks make implicit or explicit reference to webs, meshworks, or fishing nets. The network is a trap, but it is also part of the social fabric. The material culture and nature of networks already creates complex topologies and agency.
Textile Paradigm
Marcello Malpighi:
Anatomy of a Frog's Lung with »rete mirabile«
Copper Engraving,
1663 [1661],
15,5 x 9 cm.
Jacob Levy Moreno (?): Psychological Geography Map IV. A Reduction Sociogram
Drawing, 1934.
Kenneth Gordon McLaren/Eric Leonard Buesnel: Sketch and Final Drawing of a Project Network
Drawing, 1968.
Front of the first ARPANET Interface Message Processor, installed September 1969
From the 19th century on, a yet unseen rise of macrotechnical networks empowers industriali-zation. The cognitive experience of spatial infrastractures supports a structural-functional paradigm in other fields of knowledge, too.
Infrastructural Paradigm
The social network is a late discovery that only starts to inspire sociology and ethnology in the 1930s. It transforms the infrastructural paradigm of macrotechnical networks to microsocial relations. Temporal qualities of networks become more important.
Social Paradigm
In complex networks all the other paradigms intermingle. Nonetheless older elements, especially the textile, theological, or reticular paradigm tend to be forgotten. Are they still there while formalization has taken command instead of materiality?
Paradigm of Complex Networks
Two Egyptian Gods doing network magic
From the Book of Gates, first documented ca. 1300 BC.
Paolo Veronese: L'industria
Oil on Canvas. Venice, Palazzo Ducale, Sala del Collegio, 1575-1577. 150 x 220 cm.
Summary of network forms by André Leroi-Gourhan
Drawing, 1945.
Vulture Stele of Lagaš
Lime stone.
Paris, Louvre,
ca. 2.440 BC, 130 x 180 cm.
Copper Engraving, 1758.
Paolo Veronese: L'industria
Oil on Canvas.
Venice, Palazzo Ducale, Sala del Collegio,
1575-1577 (detail)
* Twitter @sebgiessmann
Thank you for listening!
Full transcript