Month: September 2012

Wastelands to Wonderlands

I recently visited the British Library @britishlibrary in London where they explored literature ‘from William Blake to the 21st-century suburban hinterlands of J G Ballard, Writing Britain examines how the landscapes of Britain permeate great literary works.’

It is an interesting project with over 150 literary works included categorised into:

  1. Rural Dreams
  2. Dark Satanic Mills
  3. Wild Places
  4. Beyond the City
  5. Cockney Visions
  6. Waterlands

What caught my attention was the description of Wild Places,

‘Wild landscapes such as moors and heaths can be overwhelming and unknowable, presenting challenges to the human mind. [...] Encounters with the wild can equally be transformative for writers, enlarging their ordinary limits of perception, and prompting spiritual renewal’

It was enlarging the ordinary limits of perception that intrigued me, is this what neocartography could be, what makes these places enlarge the ordinary limits of perception?

I like to think that it is something along the lines of ‘GeoSensitivities’ that these places are transformed/transcend the ordinary limits through literature or cartography. These sensitivities could be along the lines of what psychogeography explores:

  • human beings walking (not cars)
  • lost found making the unimaginable, imaginable
  • new maps can smell
  • experiential & hidden

These are some of the views that @FelphamPA proposes, is it partly that place of magical realism in literature, these non existent environments (enhancements) that enlarge the ordinary limits of perception?

It could be these devices literature/geosensitivities that could provide the wonder, or as FelphamPA quotes:

“Felpham, in particular, is the sweetest spot on earth.”
William Blake

http://www.bl.uk/whatson/exhibitions/writingbritain/about/

Share your own tales with an interactive map http://www.bl.uk/pin-a-tale/pin-a-tale-map.aspx

You might also like http://www.poetryatlas.com/

Film Narratives Maps

Film Story is an interactive online website that charts the history of film geographically.

‘we simply cannot ignore the fact that the public interacts with and learns about history primarily through film. What we can do instead is talk about the events of the past represented in film and use that dialogue as a place of learning.’

This site is a wonderful reference with every entry having a visual poster for each film, along with a short synopsis, year, director of course country. I agree and love their idea of  initiating a dialogue with people learning through the films, just feel there needs to be an online method through their site to offer it.

http://www.filmstory.org/

 

I would love if they could combine their resources with the the Cornerhouse (Manchester, UK) Film Map as their’s has some films linked to footage/trailers as opposed to posters, and in addition to Film Story, has linked cast data, running time & importantly, a tool to instigate a dialogue with a comments section.

http://www.cornerhouse.org/film/film-map

 

I’m sure that interaction can be much more than just comments, polls, video, auditory…. and the relationships could be visualised more such as genres, this site (like it also does with literature mapping really well) could be a good feature for genre http://www.movie-map.com & I would love to know the correlation of where films were set to where they were depicting. http://www.themoviemap.com/film-locations/featured/. For instance if it was trying to represent historic periods in film, where was the location in the modern day to achieve the old, or was it just in a studio fictionally?

I’m sure they could be informed by the work of http://www.literaturatlas.eu/en/ to help realise innovative visual relationships of history, fiction & geography.

Maybe a timeline control linked to the map, http://code.google.com/p/timemap/ could be a useful feature.

Great resources