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!!”



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”

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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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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Sound as artifacts of place

Posted in maps, student presentations by wrriley on March 24, 2010

Sound is part of how we inhabit and embody a place.  One of the primary thoughts I took from Casey’s Earth-Mapping was the idea of mapping as tracing or dragging something across a surface.  I wanted to see if I could map a sound to a surface.  I started this project by collecting sounds as artifacts of place, specifically the daily sounds I create or interact with in my living space.  I was interested in the kind of sounds we become so accustomed to that they hover on the periphery of awareness or dissolve completely, such as, a squeaky board or all the electronic hums that accompany our existence.  Could these sounds be resituated within a visual context while retaining reference to the aural origins?

I choose to visualize the sound as a waveform because it is a kind of recognizable graph of sound.  Embroidery was used as a means to embody the waveform in that it is a kind of textural drawing or writing that can be read but also felt.

This is the beginning of exploration of what I hope to be a long-term project that I envision as creating a sense of lived place through a collection of visualized sounds.

Mapping the Ice: Arctic Aesthetics and the Materiality of Place

Posted in maps, student presentations by mjcaraccioli on March 24, 2010

Francoise Oklaga and Martha Noah - The Right Spot

There are entire worlds beneath the surface of what we see…

Ananaisie Alikatuktuk - Taleelayu and Family (1976)

Entire histories swim beneath our gaze, oblivious to our categories as we are to theirs…

Manasie Akpaliapik - Shaman Summoning Taleelayu to Release Animals (1989)

And yet these worlds often intersect through our most basic sensations, desires, and impressions…

Parr - My People (1961)

They come together in that sense of meaning that precedes all constructions and ideology…

Paul Akkuardjuk - Winter Camp (1974)

We often try to grasp these realities from high above…

Pacome Kolaut - Bear Hunt (1967)

We fail to see that their permanence is in what lies below…

Pitseolak Ashoona - Summer Camp Scene (1974)

For in the silence of that which lies within can be found great horizons filled with love and struggle…

Luke Anguhadluq - Drum Dance (1970)

All of which fall flat before the greatness of the universe…

Janet Kigusiuq - Upiknivik Summer Camp (1992)

And as its landscapes trickle down the furthest reaches of the globe: solitary and untouched in the distance…

Mary Okheena - The Strange Drummer (1992)

We feel its breath in all we touch and all we see, slightly deeper than the sea…

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Christoph Niemann

Posted in maps by Owen on March 20, 2010
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