Spatial (Digital) History: A Total Art History?—The Artl@s Project
Historians trying to write a global or a social art history face the same question: how does one treat multiplicity and complexity in a comprehensive framework? Artl@s is a multidisciplinary project that promotes spatialization as a method of investigation and the anchor of an innovative,
analytical approach. Its goal is to contribute to what the French Annales School referred to as a “total” art history: writing a serial, transnational, geographical, and multiscale art history that would also address social issues. Artl@s relies on the spatial (digital) method
to identify new sites of investigation, uncover unseen patterns of artistic circulation and distribution, open up different dialogues with artwork, dissolve the boundaries between art history and other disciplines, and rethink scholarship through a focus on learning by sharing. As such, it
participates in the redefinition of the discipline of art history by embracing the theories and methods of the spatial, global, and digital turns that have challenged humanities over the past decades.