Jonathan Westin

Research Coordinator

Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion
Visiting address
Renströmsgatan 6
41255 Göteborg
Postal address
Box 200
40530 Göteborg

About Jonathan Westin

I am associate professor in Conservation and Deputy Director of Gothenburg Research Infrastructure in Digital Humanities (GRIDH) at the University of Gothenburg. In my research I study how we form our perception of culture through representations, and how these representations become part of our cultural heritage. By focusing on the communicative aspects of culture management, I approach the creation of visual representations as a negotiation process between new research and established images.

In my current research I investigate digital possibilities in reconstructing lost spaces, digital technologies effect on the concepts of space and place, and the processes of documentation and digitisation. To digitise is to disassociate a material from its physicality, an ocularcentric act where multisensory qualities are translated into a purely visual form without depth. However, this disassociation allows for a mobility that makes the material reach beyond artificial contexts such as collections and archives and provoke new associations. In the project Assembling Arosenius I investigate how material from the digitised archive of artist Ivar Arosenius can be activated as a narrative device to trace the relation between artist and subject. While the digital archive is without material depth, it allows us to stage a meeting where the object of the artist’s gaze is given voice, and the distance between them is renegotiated. As such, the art and archive of Arosenius are being repositioned as equal residues of a meeting, their association a hybrid that has the potential to give body to tensions and affect to relations.

I have published my research in the International Journal of Heritage Studies, Convergence Magazine and Visual Anthropology Review.