Representing Place

Couch Ruins: The Arcology of the Souk’he People

Posted in maps by mjcaraccioli on April 26, 2010

Grand Opening: Friday, April 23rd, 2010 – 5:00-9:00PM

A couple of highlights from Friday’s opening…

FSU Dept. of Arcology - Souk'he Ruins (Aerial View) (2010)

This is what I live for: “Hooray Cheetoh man!!”



Something we are born with?

Posted in student presentations by chaletchalet on April 21, 2010

Artists tap into cognitive mapping skills to explore modes of natural mapping in their work.

Kerry Kessler

Janice Caswell

Joyce Kozloff

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Alternate Arcologies and the (Re)Construction of Place

Posted in maps by mjcaraccioli on April 21, 2010

Mauro J. Caraccioli, Greer Dauphin, Windham Graves, Josh Mehler  

What is arcology? It seems almost ridiculous to ask this question after decades and centuries of human interaction with the environment and the construction of multi-layered and pluri-mobile spaces and places. The most familiar definition of arcology is that of a field dedicated to etching out the space and design of  hyperstructures: amassed quantities of spaces, peoples, and physically constructed spaces. The arcology we are proposing today, however, is one that instead looks upon the world itself as the greatest of hyperstructures and its inhabitants – both present and past – as beings dedicated to the re-construction of place.  Readers pressed for time (and space) are likely inclined to discard the suggestion of an artistic method that says everything, and may perhaps wonder whether such a method – as philosophy, scope or guiding star – that cannot define the range of its scope deserves discussion. The answer lies herein…  


Souk'he Temple Diagram (W. Graves)

Robert Smithson - Non-Site (1968)

Richard Serra - Tilted Arc (1981-89)

Situated Space (J. Mehler)

We begin our project by addressing the nature of sites, their specificity as a place, and the inscription on the part of art and politics to inscribe fictions on a particular place/site. Inspired by the childhood phenomenon of fort-building, along with the ingenuity that it takes to construct a world out of odd materials generally found outside, we address site specificity as a means of fitting the work to the space it is situated in. The project’s emphasis on both the transportation of place (the couchiness of our arcological dig), but also the (re)construction of place (by turning discarded objects into multi-layered and re-presentational sites of meaning) speaks to what Nicolas Bourriaud saw as the way art “keeps together moments of subjectivity,” making the different combinations of couches and signs and shadows not only instances of individual expression (as art and geo-graphy), but part of a broader relationality where all works of art, “down to the most critical and challenging of projects, [pass] through this viable world state [the creation of new possibilities], because they get elements held apart to meet.”  


Flowers (J. Mehler)

Spring (J. Mehler)

Robert Smithson in Vancouver: A Fragment of a Greater Fragment (Catalogue Cover - 2004)

Multiplicity (J. Mehler)

The contemporary impoverishment of places, through the commodification of space enacted by global capitalist flows, allows our site to represent the tension of places caught in the cycle of investment / disinvestment (the corporate university) and the possible challenges to capitalism’s logic. A place that is constructed through allegedly useless materials allows us to uncover the underlying processes / systems involved in the construction of place (i.e., the shifting cycle of tenants in Tallahassee, the unstable place of geographic art / artistic geography in the modern university curriculum). 


Slivers (W. Graves)

Robbins & Becher - Incoming Train (1994)

Robbins & Becher - Chairs and Table (2003 / 2005)

Time and Space act as the conditions of possibility for any definition of an epistemology and ontology. Where Kant has already noted that time precedes space in the formation of human consciousness (epistemology), he failed to emphasize (at least in his philosophy) that space acts as the firmament against which any understanding of the relation between time and place is possible (in this sense, providing a working definition of ontology). What does this say of time then? The (re)introduction of time to these debates represents a shift in the focus of internal time consciousness to a more global (geological?) form of time consciousness. According to Massey, even the mountains themselves are “migratory”, merely passing-through this place that 500 million years ago was not here. In this sense then, we have taken the couches from the temporal space of their former owners (as local) to the temporal space of broader ontological and meaningful horizons (i.e., a more global sense of place). 



Visual Lexicon (W. Graves & J. Mehler)


Text and writing as a reflection of epistemological structures…

Souk’he Language Pronunciation Guide

Vowel Sounds:

a=a as in “at”
e=eh as in “bet” unless at end of word then uh (as in Souk’he)
i=aw as in “ought”
ou=oo as in “do”
u=uh as in “dug”
u’k=uh-kuh (breath)

Consonant Sounds:

k’=hard breathed k
ch=(pronounce with sh sound)
cg=(pronounce like “dge” in contemporary “edge”)
p=(pronounce th)
kn=both consonants pronounced kuh-nu
t=pronounced tch
ak=pronounced “awk”
r=trilled sound
l=pronounced as the French “le”

Something You’re Born With

Posted in student presentations by jcorrales on April 21, 2010

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Artists for discussion: April 15

Posted in artists, maps by Owen on April 14, 2010


Nato Thompson

Matthew Coolidge (CLUI)

ARTISODE 2.1 Matthew Coolidge and The Center for Land Use Interpretation

CLUI: Tour of the Urban Oilscape of Los Angeles (Part 1)

CLUI: Terminal Island Tour Part 1

CLUI: Terminal Island Tour Part 2

John Welchman

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Artists for discussion: April 7

Posted in artists, maps by Owen on April 6, 2010

For the first class of the final unit, on place-situated art, we’ll be discussing readings by Kwon, Suderburg, and Rogoff. These are the first three readings in the Unit V section under the Readings tab in Blackboard. For April 14, we’ll be reading the one other reading currently on Blackboard (by John Welchman) plus two other readings that haven’t yet been posted plus selections from the Thompson Experimental Geography book.


  • Miwon Kwon, One Place after Another (2004): “Sitings of Public Art.”
  • Erika Suderburg, ed., Space, Site, Intervention (2000): Chapter Erika Suderburg (“Written on the West”).
  • Rogoff, Irit – Mapping in Terra Infirma (2000)


  • Nato Thompson, Experimental Geography (2008): “Rich in Reference” by Jeffrey Kastner, “Landscape is a Metaphor” by Matthew Coolidge, “Research and Development” by Iain Kerr, & “We Are the City” by Damon Rich.
  • Matthew Coolidge, “The Trans-Alaska Pipeline” in Artforum (2008).
  • Andrea Robbins & Max Becher, The Transportation of Place (2006): Excerpts TBD.
  • Erika Suderburg, ed., Space, Site, Intervention (2000): Chapter by John Welchman (“Public Art and the Spectacle of Money”)

Artists for the April 7 class

Simon Patterson, The Grear Bear

Mona Hatoum, Present Tense

Joshua Neustein, Nature Morte

Houston Conwill, The New Cakewalk Manifesto: A Cultural Libation (1989)

White People Can Dance!!! a brief segment of the brilliant “Funk Lessons” by Adrian Piper, as shown at Nuit Blanche 2007, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

More information here

Richard Serra, Titled Arc

Michael Asher, Untitled Document

Andrea Fraser

Michael Heizer, Double Negative

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The Vanishing Point

Posted in maps by joshmehler on April 6, 2010

A story appeared on the CBC (that’s the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for all you non-Canadians) yesterday about two men who were caught sneaking around in the Toronto sewage system; turns out, they’ve been doing this kind of spelunking/mapping for years. Check out their website here for some interesting maps and photos– I’m really enjoying their thinking about spaces that are “vanishing” from official city maps.

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Another cool map from the New York Times

Posted in maps by philsteinberg on April 5, 2010

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An Evening with Activist Group The Yes Men

Posted in artists by Owen on April 3, 2010

The Yes Men are activists and self-professed anti-corporate hoaxers who expose the world’s biggest criminals. They create fake websites that are similar to the corporations or peoples they wish to spoof and then they are accidentally invited to make public appearances as their personas. When they make appearances, they tend to make satirical and shocking comments that they believe expose the true intent of the organization they are targeting. Many times, people don’t even realize that they have been involved in the hoax and fake news stories are run about possible disaster scenarios.

One of The Yes Men’s most famous hoaxes involve creating a fake website entitled during the 2000 elections, which caused the future president to say that the site had gone too far in its criticisms of him and “there ought to be limits on freedom”. They also notoriously posed as members of the World Trade Organization by creating a fake website. When they were contacted to appear for a group of distinguished individuals, they did so. During that presentation they encouraged corporations to buy votes directly from citizens and unveiled a gold spandex bodysuit that they claimed would increase productivity by tracking employees through sensors in the suit. They’ve posed as members of Dow Chemical, ExxonMobil, the United States Department of Housing and Development after Hurricane Katrina, and many other groups.

Their antics have lead to a film called The Yes Men, a documentary called Info Wars, and a book entitled The Yes Men: The True Story of the End of the World Trade Organization. The two frontmen for the group, under the aliases Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno, premiered The Yes Men Fix the World at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and launched their own online video channel, Babelgum.

The Yes Men will be speaking at Club Downunder about their antics and successes as activists and hoaxers while using a multimedia presentation featuring props and clips from their new and classic antics. This event is co-sponsored between Center for Participant Education and Union Productions and provided by Evil Twin Booking.

Tues. April 6: An Evening with Activist Group The Yes Men
Club Downunder // doors 8:30PM, show 9:30PM
Free for FSU students
GP $5

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Denis Wood visit and lecture

Posted in artists, maps by Owen on March 29, 2010

Denis Wood is one of the world’s leading scholars researching the link between cartographic and artistic design and is the author of several books including “The Power of Maps” and “Making Maps: A Visual Guide to Map Design for GIS.”  His talk on Friday will focus in particular on the historic and conceptual links between, on the one hand, academic research in spatial cognition, behavioral geography, and perceptions of place and, on the other hand, artistic movements of the 1960s and 1970s that sought to capture (and intervene in) the process of moving through the urban landscape.  This talk will be held at the usual colloquium TimeSpace (2:30 in Bellamy 116).

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