SENKU Seminar with Aron Vinegar
Apocatastasis and Preservation
In this talk I want to draw out a theory of preservation that centres on the word Apokatastasis and its rich conceptual implications, which has a long history reaching back to the Stoics and Early Christianity and stretching forward into certain strands of twentieth and twenty-first century philosophy. As far as I know, this word has never entered into the vocabulary of preservation theory, history, or practice, despite the fact that this word literally means “restoration,” “reintegration,” or “reconstitution.” I will explore some of the implications of this word by looking at a range of examples drawn from historical preservation, practices of speculative preservation, literature, and art. These examples will be elucidated by some concepts that can be derived from the notion of Apokatastasis, such as the virtual; potentiality; minimal difference; nuance; end of the beginning; (without) remainder; after judgment; the decision of existence; summoning the past.
Aron Vinegar is Professor of Art History at the Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas, University of Oslo.