The quarterly published Journal “The Cartographic Journal” is this time (Volume 48, Number 4, November 2011) dedicated to the Geography of Literature. This volume was guest-edited by Barbara Piatti (literary studies) and Lorenz Hurni (cartography) and gives an impressive overview and insights into exiting interdisciplinary projects.
»A literary-geographical reading can change our
understanding – not only of books, but of the world we
live in. It creates knowledge. Through literary geography,
we learn more about the production of places, their
historical layers, their meanings, functions and symbolic
values. If places emerge from a combination of real
elements and fictional accounts, then literary geography
and literary cartography can work as a very effective eyeopener.«
Barbara Piatti and Lorenz Hurni: Editorial, pp.218-223
»This special issue of the Cartographic Journal on
‘Cartographies of Fictional Worlds’ is made up of fascinating
stories, exotic places, original concepts, and a series of
media that ranges from artistic collages to high tech
geospatial applications. This diversity demonstrates
the enthusiasm that prevails within literary cartography,
as well as the complex relationships that exist between maps,
narratives and places.«
»These examples provide a conceptual, methodological
and practical base that can serve to engage in the development
of original and relevant ways of merging the conceptual space
of the map with the experiential places of the narratives.«
Sébastien Caquard: Conclusive Remarks, pp.224/225
Have a look at 8 exciting papers at:
The Cartographic Journal
I strongly recommend to have a look to these Mathematical Mountains discovered in this webpage, But Does it Float. About them, their creator, Steven Brunton explains:
These images are excerpts from the bifurcation diagrams of various one-dimensional maps (…). Each of these dynamical systems model various physical phenomena in the real world. For example, the logistic map is a crude model of population dynamics with reproduction and limited resources, and it is often used as an example of the period-doubling route to chaos. Typical of chaotic systems, many regions in these figures exhibit self-similarity and reflect the order that emerges outof chaos.
These images were generated numerically by iterating the discrete-time maps above as a bifurcation parameter is varied. The bifurcation parameter is plotted as the y-axis (elevation), and at each elevation, the stratified layer represents the attracting set of the dynamical system for that particular choice of bifurcation parameter. Bifurcation refers to a qualitative change in the behavior or topology of a dynamical system as a parameter is varied.
Recently the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, bought a work of Mona Hatoum, interesting Lebanese artist raised in UK. This artist is multifaceted in the sense that she has worked a variety of disciplines including installation, sculpture and performance. Maps have been widely used in different formats in many of her workpieces. Just type in Google Maps Mona Hatoum to check it out.
(From wikipedia) Mona Hatoum (born 1952 in Beirut, Lebanon) is a video artist and installation artist of Palestinian origin, who lives in London. Mona Hatoum was born in Beirut, Lebanon to Palestinian parents in 1952. Although born in Lebanon, Hatoum does not identify as Lebanese. “Although I was born in Lebanon, my family is Palestinian. And like the majority of Palestinians who became exiles in Lebanon after 1948, they were never able to obtain Lebanese identity cards.”
Lately I’ve liked these maps called “3D Cities”: Regular ordinance survey maps, their two-dimension modified by a number of geometrical cuts forming paper depressions and elevations. We do not know what they signify, although we can guess that these are probably localized spots of violence.
Image from http://personal-geographies.blogspot.com
Mona Hatoum 3d Maps
Here you are a video by Tate Britain, “Mona Hatoum, studio visit.”
Until February 5th, the Museo Reina Sofía of Madrid, exhibits a great collection of works by Alighiero Boetti (1940 – 1994), an Italian conceptual artist, considered to be a member of the art movement Arte Povera. Many of his pieces are maps embroidered by artisans in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as a result of a collaborative process leaving the design to the geopolitical realities of the time, and the choice of colours to the artisans responsible for the embroidery.
From wikipedia: “For me the work of the embroidered Mappa is the maximum of beauty. For that work I did nothing, chose nothing, in the sense that: the world is made as it is, not as I designed it, the flags are those that exist, and I did not design them; in short I did absolutely nothing; when the basic idea, the concept, emerges everything else requires no choosing.” Alighiero e Boetti, 1974
That’s why the sea is painted in red, pink or yellow; while they were doing their work, the artisans didn’t know what meant the area with no-assigned-colour. Although as it has been said by the expert in Boetti with whom I have visited the exhibition, they even didn’t know the meaning of the whole image.
Boetti was a conceptual artist, but his work is also visually rich and joyful. Being a coproduction, after Museo Reina Sofía, the exhibition will travel to the Tate Modern and Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Highly recommended.
London is really the place where maps and artists get along quite well those days, as illustrated by the current exhibit on “The Art of Mapping” at the TAG Fine Art gallery. Through the work of more than 20 artists, this exhibit provides another evidence of the rich and complex relationships that visual artists have been developping with maps in the recent years. The exhibit is nicely presented in its companion booklet, introduced by a short text written by Katharine Harmon. So it really seems that this is THE place to visit this November, which has been confirmed by Bill Cartwright who had the chance to see it and who was really impressed by its quality.
The Art of Mapping exhibit takes place at the TAG Fine Art gallery in London (14 – 26 November 2011) and also includes some artists talks.
In his “Collaborative Landscape” project, artist Flynn O’Brien proposes to participants to create their own “walking maps.” This project was recently started in order to create an on-going series of landscape images through a collaborative process between Flynn O’Brien and participants from around the world. Using a process that Flynn created and transcribed in a manual (Landscape Manual
), the participants are asked to follow a series of steps in objectively collecting photographic information while also making subjective choices along the way in the creation of a final image.
While a number of subjective choices are made by the participants throughout the collaborative process, a strict set of rules are adhered to, creating a common visual language between images. Through this common language, the participant’s relationship with that environment is defined by their experience within that space. The goal of the project is to continue to expand the number of participants, in order to further define this field of exploration.
Image : Emmanuelle Jacques, 2011
If you are in Montréal in October, there is an interesting series of mapping activities that are going on at the gallery Articule (actually the activities started in September…).
In a series of workshops held at the centre, participants will be encouraged to reflect on notions of social cartography –socio-demographics, urban development, the places we reside in and appropriate, places of memory, places not represented by traditional maps. The aim of the project is to inspire people to think creatively about cultural and artistic spaces, what they represent in daily life, and what the notion of neighbourhood means today.
Even if you missed it this year, you might be able to psrticipate next year since this is supposed to be a yearly activity.
Thanks to Cecilia Chen for point me to this art and community mapping activity.