Representing Place

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


Comments Off on Artists for discussion: April 15

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?

Media Studies: Experimental Geography Reading List

Posted in artists, maps by Owen on February 7, 2010

Media Studies: Experimental Geography Reading List
By Marisa Olson

I just came across this list of essential experimental geography readings on the Rhizome website via Critical Spatial Practice. Lots of overlap with our materials, but there are plenty of additional readings that may interest you guys.

Comments Off on Media Studies: Experimental Geography Reading List

Experimental Geography poster: Garbage Education Display System

Posted in artists, maps by Owen on January 27, 2010

Here’s the front of the poster for the most recent version of the Experimental Geography exhibition at the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Melon University. It features a beautiful image of the “Garbage Education Display System (Garbage City & Landfill vs. Incinerator)” by Damon Rich for the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), 2002-08

Full poster is here


Guest curated by Nato Thompson
Organized by iCI (Independent Curators International)  ici]
Oct. 9, 2009 – Jan. 31, 2010

Artists: Francis AlÿsAREA ChicagoThe Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI),The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP)e-Xplo, Ilana Halperinkanarinka (Catherine D’lgnazio)Julia Meltzer and David ThorneLize MogelMultiplicityTrevor Paglen,Raqs Media CollectiveEllen RothenbergSpurseDeborah StratmanDaniel Tucker,Alex VillarYin Xiuzhen

Tagged with: , ,

Comments Off on Experimental Geography poster: Garbage Education Display System

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)

Comments Off on Images for discussion: Jan 13

Representing Place

Posted in artists by Owen on November 14, 2009

This course seeks to stimulate a dialogue between art and geography.  On the one hand, artists increasingly are sensitive to issues of space.  Formerly taken for granted as the context in which things happen, artists (and scholars from throughout the humanities) are problematizing space as something that is constituted by connections across distance, by continual transformations of nature, by the experience of the individual in-place, and by multiple subjectivities.  This rethinking of space as dynamic, subjective, and multi-dimensional has led visual artists to reconsider whether space can be represented and, if so, how this representation should be achieved.  In asking these questions, artists have turned to the insights of geographers who have long been intrigued by problems in the (non-) representation of space and, in particular, its visualization through the map.

This course is a collaboration between Phil Steinberg and Owen Mundy.


Tagged with: ,