The Quarantine atlas

The Commission on Art & Cartography’s online workshop from the summer of 2020, called A Sense of Impending Doom: A Strata-Walk for Turbulent Times, caught the eye of editor Laura Bliss at Bloomberg’s CityLab. As a result, some of the maps from the Impending Doom workshop are featured in the new publication The Quarantine Atlas: Mapping Global Life Under COVID-19, along with an essay by Commission Chair Taien Ng-Chan about her own experiences dealing with the pandemic, the subsequent rise of anti-Asian hate, and the value found in mapping one’s own room. The book was published in April 2022 and can be found here: https://www.blackdogandleventhal.com/titles/laura-bliss/the-quarantine-atlas/9780762478132/

ArtCarto Maps in The Quarantine Atlas

Borrowing from (Xavier) de Maistre’s voyage around his room, we carried out a virtual workshop that took 30 walkers from around the world on a tour of their own lockdown spaces. They brought no luggage but two sheets of paper, a writing implement, and instructions to look at everything with the rambling curiosity of a traveler. The first task, as a sort of barometer of feeling, was for everyone to write down their fears and anxieties, which included everything from dictators, militarization and climate change to “loss of emotional connection” and “overwhelming online work.” On the back of that paper, we asked for their sources of comfort: protest, gardening, nature, reading, art, and alcohol. They then tore a small hole in a fresh sheet of paper to represent their locations in space, walked slowly around their rooms to draw their routes and objects that shaped their surrounding emotional landscapes. “Where are the anxieties located?” we asked. “Where do you find comfort? Reframe your view. Share with us the ground under your feet, the sky outside your window.”

The rough, hand-drawn maps that resulted hint at the rich emotions that fill our own interior spaces. In these maps, I can glimpse the lives of others through the squiggly black lines and rough edges that indicate where their bodies were located, where the windows and quiet spaces are for each. One map details a ceiling stain that speaks to worry, while another map confesses a love of the cardinals who hang out by the cornstalks in the backyard. The last task was for each person to fold, scrunch, rip and crunch their maps –  a transformation of their intangible emotions into 3D paper sculptures, an act of catharsis. Some of them ended up a sharp jumble of edges like mine, others meticulously folded like irregular fans or energetically crushed into tight, crinkled-up balls. The maps were then smoothed out again and displayed by their makers onscreen, the shared act connecting us all in the virtual space of Zoom. (Excerpt from Taien Ng-Chan’s “Finding Home in a Locked-Down World” in The Quarantine Atlas, edited by Laura Bliss)

A big thank you to all who took part in the Impending Doom workshop, and especially to Jorn Seemann, Judith Franke, and Jennifer Coates, whose maps are featured.

ICC2021 news: Show & Tell workshop + ArtCarto Panels

The Commission on Art & Cartography hosted the Show & Tell Pre-Conference Workshop on Monday, Dec. 13th (Dec. 14th for our Australian members) and saw 12 fantastic, intriguing, thought-provoking presentations in “Pecha-Kucha”-like fashion, starting with (as Vice-Chair Sharon Hayashi put it) “the more-than-human, moving from larger time spans towards the urban, morphing through software experiments before the ending on more directly political spatial battles.” A wonderful experience for all (recording below).

Recording of the Pre-Conference Workshop of the 30th International Cartographic Conference (Florence, Italy)
Organized by the Commission for Art & Cartography
December 13, 2021
Presenters: Jorn Seemann, Joshua Singer, Taien Ng-Chan, Michael Trommer, Chelsea Nestel, Joanna Gardener, Kévin Pinvidic, Nick Lally, Sebastien Caquard, Elise Olmedo, Glenn Finley, Sheila Nadimi

The workshop used a MIRO board as a visual collaborative tool, where participants were invited to add comments even after the workshop, and can be viewed here: https://miro.com/app/board/o9J_koBWxGo

Although most ArtCarto members were not able to travel to the 30th ICC itself due to the ongoing pandemic, Sandra Ignagni was able to attend and to represent the Commission as Chair of the two Art & Cartography panels that ran on December 15th with 6-7 presentations each. Sandra noted that the presentations went fairly smoothly, that there was a technical coordinator in the room who ran the WebEx (in Italian) and helped troubleshoot a few very minor technical difficulties.

There were four varieties of presentations:

  • Fully recorded
  • Recorded with presenter joining remotely for the Q/A
  • Fully in-person
  • Remote presentation

In the afternoon we held our Commission on Art & Cartography Business Meeting, which gave an opportunity to discuss a few ideas for the upcoming year. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Show & Tell: The Future of Art & Cartography

Zoom grid photo from ArtCarto’s 2020 workshop “A Sense of Impending Doom”

A Pre-Conference Workshop of the 30th International Cartographic Conference
Organized by the Commission for Art & Cartography
December 13, 2021

Synchronously ONLINE at 8-10PM CET (Florence, Italy) / 2-4PM EST (Toronto, Canada) /
11AM-1PM PST (Los Angeles, USA) / 6-8AM AEDT on Dec 14 (Melbourne, Australia)

(Check your time zone)
Zoom link will be sent before the workshop date.

The workshop will begin with a series of short (7-8 minutes) “PechaKucha”-like slide presentations* of your works-in-progress, project ideas, theoretical musings, or other research that might not be ready for the mainstage of the ICC. Or don’t present and join us as a viewer! Following these presentations, we will break out into group discussions, with the aim of generating feedback, creating new connections, inspiring new works, and exploring possibilities for collaborations, all with the potential of having your work featured in an upcoming special Art & Cartography issue of the International Journal of Cartography.

To participate, please RSVP to taien [AT] yorku [dot] ca with your name and a short description of what you would like to share (100-150 words, images optimal but optional).
Note that registration in the main ICC Conference (which requires fees) is not required.
This workshop is open to all and free of charge.

Deadline for REGISTRATION: December 1st, 2021

*A “PechaKucha”(™) is a lightning talk presentation that is 20 slides, 20 seconds per slide, but we are only using this for inspiration rather than as a strict format.

We hope to see you at this synchronous global online event!

A Sense of Impending Doom: a strata-walk for turbulent times

Date: WEDNESDAY, JULY 22ND, 2020
Time: 7AM LOS ANGELES; 10AM TORONTO; 3pm GUIMARÃES (Portugal); 12AM MIDNIGHT MELBOURNE
Place: Simultaneous world-wide Zoom & in Guimarães (please email walk.lab2pt@gmail.com to register if you would like to attend in person, outdoors and safely distanced)

HPU + ArtCarto Investigating the Impending Zoom

How do we sense and deal with impending doom in our everyday lives and in our creative work? Can sensorial and mundane art-making practices help us to map our way out? The Hamilton Perambulatory Unit (HPU), in partnership with the Commission for Art and Cartography (ArtCarto) of the International Cartographic Society, presents a Strata-Walk (Doom and Zoom edition) for turbulent times. This live, online event will begin with a video presentation/performance on the Strata-Walk, HPU’s framework of stratigraphic place-making and mapping, before turning the focus onto the digital and technological space that connects us. Using a system of prompts, Strata-Walkers map their environments in a performative gesture by turning their attention to one element of place, then documenting it in a Strata-Map. This experimental, emotional, ephemeral cartography relies on the body-as-sensor moving through space, as well as other techniques of reading, framing and re-framing one’s self and surroundings.

For this walkshop (part of the international conference Drifting Bodies/Fluent Spaces), four members of HPU and ArtCarto – located in Canada, the US, and Australia – will lead participants through an investigation of the digital strata of Zoom and the intimate, analog materialities strata of one’s room (if in lockdown, as many still are) or wherever one happens to be. Starting in the centre of our collective Zoom and doom, we will explore our embodied emotions, networked places, and live speculative imaginings, mapping our way out to find the sky above us all. The resulting collective mappings will be constructed into an ad hoc art exhibition and all participants will share credit.

Participants are asked to bring one or two sheets of blank paper, a black marker, a device with a camera, and the web-conferencing application Zoom pre-downloaded (can be on same device as camera, or ideally, a separate device). A Zoom link with password will be shared a day before the event.

For registration or more info, contact: hamiltonperambulatoryunit@gmail.com

Conference website: https://walk.lab2pt.net/

Call for Participants: Maps and Emotions Workshop, ICC 2017

A call for participants for a workshop on Maps and Emotions that will take place in Washington DC on July 1-2, 2017 prior to the 28th International Cartographic Conference. The goal of this workshop is to provide an intellectual and creative space to share different ideas and methodologies that can help further exploring the complex relationships that exist between places, maps and emotions.

Feel free to disseminate this call in your networks and let us know if you have any questions.

Maps & Emotions

Workshop organized by the International Cartographic Association (ICA) Commissions on Cognitive Issues in Geographic Information Visualization & Art and Cartography, Washington DC, July 1-2, 2017

For the last couple of decades, the importance of integrating emotions and affects in studying places has been broadly acknowledged, which led certain authors to talk about an “emotional turn” in geography (Thien 2005; Davidson et al. 2007). This emotional turn has also affected cartography where the relationships between maps and emotions have been explored from two different perspectives; scientific and artistic. A more scientific approach, characterized by the growing interest to study emotions generated by different types of cartographic designs (Fabrikant et al. 2012; Muehlenhaus 2012; Griffin and McQuoid 2012) and by the use of social media and digital technologies to collect and represent emotions generated by certain locations (Hauthal and Burghardt 2013; Klettner et al. 2013). A more artistic approach is characterized by the will to capture and express cartographically the emotions associated with places in a sensitive way. Artists such as Christian Nold and Ariane Littman have been exploring alternative cartographic ways of capturing emotions and affects associated with certain places. This growing interest in mapping emotions is also reflected within the emergence of the concept of “deep mapping”, which is based on the idea that we can truly understand places only by taking into account the memories, emotions, and perceptions associated with them. These different approaches have in common that they need to address the complex question of how to characterize affects and emotions and how to map them? The goal of this workshop is to provide an intellectual and creative space to share different ideas and methodologies that can help addressing this question.

This workshop aims to bring together artists, scholars and students from cartography, geography, the humanities and the arts who are interested in exploring further the relationships between maps, emotions and places. We would like to invite participants interested in discussing and debating any type of relationship between these elements including:

  • The theoretical underpinning of mapping emotions;
  • The cognitive aspects of designing maps that can trigger emotions and in understanding how emotions influence map use;
  • The methodologies developed in arts, sciences and the humanities for collecting emotional material associated with places (e.g. memories, perceptions);
  • The technological and practical aspects of mapping emotions;
  • The social and political implications of mapping emotions and designing emotional maps

Submission process and important dates

  • To participate in the workshop, each participant must submit either (1) an abstract describing the research / artistic project s/he would like to present (max. 500 words); or (2) a proposal describing the emotional mapping activity s/he would like to organize and the logistical issues associated with it (e.g. how long the activity should last? Do you need special material or venue?) (max. 1,000 words).
  • Each abstract/proposal should be summited by September 30th, 2016 to Amy Griffin (a.griffin@adfa.edu.au), and Sébastien Caquard (sebastien.caquard@concordia.ca) who will share them with the other members of the scientific committee: Julia Mia Stirnemann and Sidonie Christophe.
  • These discussions will be structured around two types of activities: (1) conventional academic presentations enabling individuals to talk about their own research and artistic practices; and (2) emotional mapping activities organized by some of the participants to address one or several aspects of the relationships between maps and emotions (e.g. data collection in some identified neighborhoods in Washington DC; designing maps that could trigger emotional responses; testing the effectiveness of emotional maps).

Logistics 

The workshop will be hosted by The George Washington University, located downtown Washington DC. The workshop will be free of charge, but the participants will have to pay for their food and lodging (a list will be provided on the 28th International Cartographic Conference website: http://www.icc2017.org/).

Timeline 

  • July 18th, 2016 – First Call for Participants;
  • Sept. 1st, 2016 – Second Call for Participants;
  • Sept. 30th, 2016 – Deadline for submitting abstracts or activities proposals;
  • Nov. 1st, 2016 – Successful Applicants notified;
  • Jan. 15th, 2017 – Participants confirm their participation
  • Feb. 2017 – Preliminary program released;
  • May 2017 – Final program released;
  • July 1-2, 2017 – Workshop prior to the ICC 2017.


References

Davidson J, Smith M and Bondi L (2007) Emotional Geographies, Hampshire, UK: Ashgate Publishing. Fabrikant SI, Christophe S, Papastefanou G and Maggi S (2012) Emotional response to map design aesthetics. In: GIScience 2012: Seventh International Conference on Geographic Information Science, Columbus, Ohio, 18–21 September. Available at:http://www.zora.uzh.ch/71701/1/2012_FabrikantS_giscience2012_paper_64.pdf

Griffin AL and McQuoid J (2012) At the Intersection of Maps and Emotion: The Challenge of Spatially Representing Experience. Kartographische Nachrichten, 62(6), 291–299.

Hauthal E and Burghardt D (2013) Detection, Analysis and Visualisation of Georeferenced Emotions. InProceedings of The International Cartographic Conference 2013. Dresden (Germany): International Cartographic Association, 25-30 August 2013.

Klettner S, Huang H, Schmidt M and Gartner G (2013) Crowdsourcing affective responses to space.Kartographische Nachrichten 2(3): 66–72.

Littman A (2012) Re-thinking/ Re-creating a different Cartography. ETH Zurich, Available from: http://cartonarratives.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/littman_proposal.doc

Muehlenhaus I (2012) If Looks Could Kill: The Impact of Different Rhetorical Styles on Persuasive Geocommunication. The Cartographic Journal 49(4), 361–375.

Nold C (2009) Emotional cartography. Technologies of the Self. Available from: www.emotionalcartography.net. Thien D (2005) After or beyond feeling? A consideration of affect and emotion in geography. Area, 37(4)

Cinema as Deep Map: Patience (After Sebald) and cinematic cartography

Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 11.27.25 PM
Screenshot from documentary by Grant Gee (2011)

“Mapping Out Patience: Cinema, Cartography and W.G. Sebald,” an essay by Taien Ng-Chan, was first presented at the 26th International Cartographic Conference in Dresden, Germany, in 2013, and was published recently in the journal Humanities, in a special “Deep Mapping” issue edited by Les Roberts. As described in the abstract: “cinematic cartography can be an especially powerful tool for deep mapping, as it can convey the narratives, emotions, memories and histories, as well as the locations and geography that are associated with a place. This is evident in the documentary film Patience (After Sebald) by Grant Gee, which follows in the footsteps of W.G. Sebald and his walking tour of Suffolk, England, as described in his book The Rings of Saturn. A variety of strategies in cinematic cartography are used quite consciously in Gee’s exploration of space, place and story.” It can be downloaded at http://www.mdpi.com/2076-0787/4/4/554

Other papers in this very interesting special issue include “Mapping Deeply” by Denis Wood, “The Rhythm of Non-Places: Marooning the Embodied Self in Depthless Space” by Les Roberts, and “Regular Routes: Deep Mapping a Performative Counterpractice for the Daily Commute” by Laura Bissell and David Overend. Full details are here: http://www.mdpi.com/journal/humanities/special_issues/DeepMapping