Spyros Papapetros will give a Brown Bag Lunch presentation on Thursday, September 26, at 12:15 pm. His talk is entitled, “Warburg and World Ornament: An Ethnography of Spaces.”

Based on Gottfried Semper’s formulation of “directional adornment (Richtungsschmuck),” this presentation examines ornament as an orientation device for navigating physical and epistemological spaces. The presentation draws from a recently completed book chapter analyzing a series of archival documents, including bibliographic notes, aphorisms, and correspondence, recording Aby Warburg’s encounter with the anthropological literature on Ornamentik, preceding the scholar’s first visit to Southwestern Pueblos in 1895.

Spyros Papapetros is Associate Professor of Art and Architectural Theory and Historiography at the School of Architecture and an Associated Faculty member of the Department of Art and Archaeology, as well as a member of the executive committees for the Program in European Cultural Studies and the Program in Media and Modernity at Princeton University. His work addresses the intersections between art, architecture, historiography, psychoanalysis, as well as the histories of science, anthropology, and psychological aesthetics. He is the author of On the Animation of the Inorganic: Art, Architecture, and the Extension of Life (The University of Chicago Press, 2012), the co-editor of Retracing the Expanded Field: Encounters between Art and Architecture (The MIT Press, 2014), and the author of over eighty articles published in academic journals and edited anthologies. He is currently completing a second personal book project titled World Ornament: Adornment on a Global Scale examining the cosmic analogies of bodily and architectural adornment from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries and he is also preparing the first edition of Frederick Kiesler’s unpublished book project Magic Architecture: The Story of Human Housing with the collaboration of the Kiesler Foundation in Vienna.