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Performing Science -
Image-Memory theatre as didactic tool
Gerhard Dirmoser impressed in his course “Diagrams in Sciences” - a combination of a performance with a novel didactic method. Together with the students of the course “Visual Competencies” he laid out a visual experimental world of images.
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The heart of the training day with Gerhard Dirmoser was an area-wide display of approximately 4000 visualizations and images. Moreover 36 working stations with questions about basic theories and key words concerning image science were prepared for the students to delve into and examine the topics further.
The thematic image units and numerous structure diagrams were arranged in the form of a memory theatre and filled up the complete main lecture hall of the university.

Special attention was paid to the representation of a wide scope of relevant involved artists and theoreticians in the field and to establish and respectively preserve a relationship to their works and their text sources. This was especially achieved by providing a library of more than 100 reference books and text sources which were thematically arranged at the students´ disposal at the different working stations.


In his introduction of scientific image systems Dirmoser strongly took the fields of diagrammatic and graphemics into consideration. The students had the possibility to move around between the thousands of laid out image subjects which had been arranged in an exemplary systematic and thus allowed to create innovative connections between the different systems.

The diagrams´ image type was presented in demarcation to “mimetic images”, and eleven diagram types were exemplified in detail. Besides displaying these basic types, some further structures and “thought figures” were shown in their function as the foundation of various types of common visualizations.

Headed by some key persons, the development of this branch of image science was outlined. Among other things the net diagrams made visible which disciplines and methods were extensively used and proved to be productive in the last years. Dirmoser furthermore introduced the image administration software “SemaSpace”. He was himself involved in the development of this technical novelty, which allows users to connect visual material semantically and to display it dispersed in three-dimensional trees on the screen.

Aim of the lecture was to point out the historic development of the most important diagram types over the last years and to introduce important authors for deeper examination. The participants did not only learn to read diagrammatic arrangements in images and pictorial displays but also to identify assorted concepts of space.

The impressive teaching event with its innovative didactic character covered the following topics:
Art history, art theory
Music analysis, dance analysis, action research
Exhibit design
Architecture design, space research
Urban analyses, traffic streams
Technical design – technical drawing
Measurement, navigation
Mathematics, geometry, topology, logic, graph theory
Medical science – body mapping
Simulations´ appliance
Computer science, experts´ systems, automation, chip design
Internet, measurement
Cartography, GIS-systems
Cognition research, psychology, colour theory
Sociology, political science, effect science
Economic analysis
Cultural studies
Geology, hydrology, meteorology
Natural science
Theory of Evolution
Knowledge management

Personal data:

G. Dirmoser (1. v. re) mit Studierenden

Gerhard Dirmoser (first person on the right hand side) is working in Linz as system analyst (with his main focus on geographic information systems) and has been dealing with semantic nets for more than 15 years. Studies in net form were realised by him on the following topics: cybernetic aesthetic, structuralism, French Philosophy, art in context, thinking patterns, verbs, atmospheric items, gestures of design, mapping questions, 25 years of Ars Electronica.
Studies in form of a memory theatre emerged to:
Performance Art Context, The Art of Exhibition, The World of Atmospheres,
Verbs in Context, 25 years of Ars Electronica.


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