Two potential image circulation: Left: Melencolia I, Albrecht Dürer, 1514. Right: Port de Gênes, Max Beckmann, 1926
This statistical report is in the continuity of the general Visual Contagions project and allows an interdisciplinary group of ten students from the University of Geneva to think on the project’s problematic. To explore the project's ambitions, the report was conceived in two parts which allows, on the one hand, a detailed quantitive analysis and, on the other hand, a more accessible and educational study through an interactive map integrated to the project’s website. Through the study of a large body of documents, the aim of the report is to confront a new platform named “Explore” which gives us a new angle on the study of social science. The analysis of globalization based on algorithms and image cluster analysis are a true challenge to the history of globalization. As for the first part of our study, the two thousand periodicals digitized in IIIF format brings us to think about various questions: Are there specific paths of globalization ? Are they homogenous ? Do they point towards great artistic centers such as Paris or New York ? Does the intensity of the spread depends on iconography ? Could certain images be more representative of certain places ? How could one measure the impact of an image ? The vast quantity of prints, art periodicals and general press bear witness to a worldwide phenomenon. This report is therefore a basis for the elaboration of an interactive map and will firstly expose and describe the data and datasets. Then, the selection process will be detailed to justify which methodology is relevant to the platform. Thirdly, this paper will observe the statistical results of the analysis which will be elaborated in the last “discussion” part. As an appendix, this report offers the Python notebooks used in the project as well as a guide on how to use the “explore’ platform.
To learn more about our the first clusters, the full report is available in pdf below (french version):