Diderot Project: Research & Artifact is the title of a talk by WU Professor of Art Ken Botnick, to be presented at 4 p.m., Thursday, April 2, in Olin Library's Ginkgo Reading Room.
Botnick will discuss his recently completed limited edition artist's book, a visual and textual meditation on concepts encountered in the Encyclopedie of Diderot. These concepts include the hand and craft, tools and machines, labor and leisure, memory, sensation, and perception. (An image of Botnick's new book appears below.)
A copy of the 17-volume Encyclopedie is among the holdings of the Department of Special Collections at Washington University Libraries.
Denis Diderot (1713-1784) was a French philosopher and writer who co-founded the Encyclopedie and served as its chief editor, also writing entries for it. This was the first encyclopedia to publish entries written by various contributors along with identifying information for them. Importantly, it included the mechanical arts, sought to include all the world's knowledge and, according to Diderot, "change the way people think."