Representing Place

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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Ingrid Calame

Posted in student presentations by joshmehler on February 17, 2010

#231 Drawing (Tracings up to the L.A. River placed in the Clark Telescope Dome, Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ)

From #231 Drawing (Tracings up to the L.A. River placed in the Clark Telescope Dome, Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ)

Ingrid Calame is a Los Angeles-based artist whose work attempts to document “the lowly visual remains of human activity” by tracing everyday marks of human presence (Harmon 106).  In the examples shown here, Calame has traced the marks found in the Los Angeles river bed—including graffiti, stains, and other human marks—and has then overlaid tracings that record the regularized physical movements of people who work in the observatory. Calame has also done extensive tracings of skid marks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and areas of the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange. In all her work is an awareness of the passing through of human activity, driven by a desire to record human presence. At the same time, however, her work emphasizes the difficulty of capturing that human presence in various spaces.

My question then is: does this work fit in with a definition of “map”? Do these works count as “maps”?

Yes: Katharine Harmon seems to think so; she argues that Calame’s work fits into a definition of maps as “simplified representations of the Earth’s surface or depictions of relationships between the components of a space” and that it “documents the relationship between humans and their environments” (106).  Might Calame’s work also fit under the heading of “new cartography” that Deleuze has observed? That is: “a mode of spatial thinking that sought not to trace out representations of the real, but to construct mappings that refigure relations in ways that render alternate epistemologies and very different ways of world making” (Cobarrubias and Pickles 40)?

No: The artist herself claims that she does not see her work as “maps” but, regardless, it does arise from a “cartographic desire to know the world.” So should we then define a “map” as any document or work of art that arises from this similar desire? How is a “cartographic” desire different from any other desire to know the world?

Images for discussion: Jan 20

Posted in artists by Owen on January 20, 2010

Readings for this week:

  • Tim Cresswell, Place: A Short Introduction (2004): Entire book.
  • Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space (1958): Chapter 1.
  • Yi-Fu Tuan, “Place: An Experiential Perspective” in Geographical Review (1975).
  • Steven Feld & Keith Basso, eds., Senses of Place (1996): Chapter 1 (“How to Get from Space to Place in a Fairly Short Stretch of Time” by Edward Casey).

Gordon Matta-Clark Splitting (1974)

Gordon Matta-Clark Splitting, Bingo/Ninths, Substrait (Underground Dailies) (1974-1976) video

Gordon Matta-Clark City Slivers (1976) video

– also see “Food” and “Fake Estates” by Matta-Clark.

Michael Rakowitz, ParaSITE

Michael Rakowitz, Minaret

Do Ho Suh, The Perfect Home II, 2003, translucent nylon, 110 x 240 x 516 inches

Do Ho Suh, Staircase – V, 2003/04/08. Polyester and stainless steel tubes.

Do Ho Suh, Fallen Star (in progress), UCSD Jacobs Building

Olafur Eliasson – The weather project 2003

Kurt Schwitters, Merzbau

Kurt Schwitters

Hans Haacke, Shapolsky et al Manhattan Real Estate Holdings, a Real-Time Social System, as of May 1 1971

Rachel Whiteread, Untitled (Mattress), plaster, 1991

Rachel Whiteread, House, 1993

Rachel Whiteread, Place (Village), 2006–08, Mixed media: doll’s houses, crates, boxes, wood, electrical fittings and fixtures, electricity.

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Emily Larned artist lecture

Posted in artists by Owen on January 13, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010 @ 7pm

Emily Larned is an artist, writer, designer, and letterpress printer who has been self-publishing for 17 years. Red Charming, established 1999, is her production label. The name is an imaginary bad translation possibly meaning that which is light and heavy at the same time.

Emily received her MFA in Graphic Design from Yale School of Art in 2008. Also in 2008, together with the excellent Bridget Elmer, she co-founded Impractical Labor in Service of the Speculative Arts (ILSSA), a membership organization for those who make experimental or conceptual work with obsolete technology.

From 2001-2009 Emily was an active board member of Booklyn, a not-for-profit artist alliance based in Brooklyn, NY. She served as Vice President for five years and President for one.

Emily’s work is held by over sixty public collections, including the Smithsonian, the Tate, & the Getty, and it has been exhibited around the world. She has taught and lectured widely, and in 2009 was appointed Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Bridgeport. Her studio is in the former American Fabrics factory in the east side of that city. She, her husband, and their cat are poised to move their home to magical Lordship, Connecticut in early 2010.

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Images for discussion: Jan 13

Posted in artists, maps by Owen on January 13, 2010

Readings for this week:

  • Barney Warf & Santa Arias, eds., The Spatial Turn (2009): Chapter 1 (“Introduction” by Warf & Arias) and Chapter 4 (“From Surfaces to Networks” by Warf).
  • Michel DeCerteau, The Practice of Everyday Life (1984): Part III (“Spatial Practices” – Chpts. 7, 8, & 9).
  • Nato Thompson, ed., Experimental Geography (2008): “In Two Directions” by Thompson and “Experimental Geography” by Trevor Paglen.

Trevor Paglen The Other Night Sky, and “Blank Spots on the Map” (all books)

It takes 154,000 Breaths to Evacuate Boston by Kanarinka

(left) Constant Nieuwenhuys, Symbolische voorstelling van New Babylon, 1969
(right) Constant Nieuwenhuys, New Babylon Nord, 1971 (detail)

Ashley Hunt A World Map: in Which We See…

Lower Manhattan Sign Project

Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion map (animation)

Ellen Rothenberg, Stealth

Francis Alÿs (top) When Faith Moves Mountains (2002) and (bottom) Sometimes Doing Something Poetic Can Become Political and Sometimes Doing Something Political Can Become Poetic (2005)

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