Maps and Games in Dresden (Germany) – August 25th 2013

A Workshop + A Playground gaming session convened by the Maps and Society + the Arts and Cartography Commissions of the International Cartographic Association

Game Studies emerged as a discipline in parallel with the growth of videogaming in the 1980s (see Salen and Zimmerman 2004) and by 2012 the gaming industry had a global turnover of around US$65 billion.  Maps play a very significant role in many different game genres. From puzzles, to shoot-em-ups, to mazes, quests, sport sims, strategy-based war-games, urban games and geo-caching, mapping represents a largely unquestioned backdrop, but often also delivers a central and active role in game play. From Risk to World of Warcraft, from Harvey Mazzles to street games, from Microsoft Golf, to RunZombieRun mapping matters in game play. However to date the nature of mapping in games has been significantly under-researched.

The need for further research is amplified with the shifts to digital and mobile-based gaming. Geospatial technologies are now guiding players throughout cities that have became game boards. These in site games are redefining the function and the meaning of maps in gaming activities. This dynamic context calls for sustained and critical interest. This workshop focuses upon different sites, and mapping practices enrolled in gaming, exploring the significance of technological change, the cultural significance of mapping and gaming, and the aesthetics and politics of maps in games, and games in maps. Ways of understanding spatial relations implicit in gaming have also shifted over this time, and offer a challenging field for researchers.

We invite critical papers that focus upon amongst other issues:

  • The design of maps as game boards
  • The links between mapping and different game genres
  • Historicizing the changing relationship between games and maps
  • The role of the map interface in structuring game-play
  • The performative nature of  mapping in game play
  • The mapped relations between the world and the game
  • The nature of fantasy and imagination in the construction of mapped games
  • The affect of mapping in games
  • Mobile apps and map game interfaces
  • Map puzzles
  • Mapping and augmented reality games

Abstracts (250 words) should be emailed to c.perkins@manchester.ac.uk by 30th April 2013

Urban Mapping GameThe workshop is scheduled for Sunday 25th August afternoon and is accompanied by a Playground gaming session organized by Invisible Playground (Note: all the participants of the workshops will automatically be registers to the gaming session)

Invisible Playground is a collective of young Berlin-based artists, game designers and academics. Founded in 2009, Invisible Playground makes site-specific games of various sizes and formats. Drawing from a broad range of influences ranging from experimental musical theater and performance art to video games, the collective develops playful experiences that grant participants entry onto the invisible playgrounds they walk across every day without noticing. Its approach to mapping is closely connected to the notion of site-specific games. A game is site specific if the rules of the game are inspired by and merged with the rules of urban life at a certain site. Hence the game design process often includes mapping of urban dynamics, architecture, infrastructure and stories. In some cases maps are handed out to players during the games for example to help them navigate, to define the boundaries of the playing field or to assign certain rules of movement and interaction to certain locations on the playing field. At the Workshop on Maps and Games, Invisible Playground will offer a game session with a game that is adopted for the Workshop-site and involves map use. The session will also include a short introduction of other relevant projects of Invisible Playground and discussion. Number of players: ca 20 players, playing time: TBD, outdoor location.

Questions related to the gaming session can be sent to barbara.piatti@karto.baug.ethz.ch and sebastien.caquard@concordia.ca


CFP – Special issues on “Narratives and Cartography” in NANO

As described in our previous post we are seeking academic and artistic contributions to be published in two special issues of two academic journals on the relationships between maps and narratives. One will propose a cartographic perspective on the relationships between maps and narratives. It will be published in The Cartographic Journal and co-edited by Sébastien Caquard and William Cartwright (for more details see the call for papers).

The other one will focus on the artistic points of view of the relationships between narratives and cartography. It will be published in NANO – New American Notes Online (issue 6) and co-edited by Laurene Vaughan and Matthew Bissen.  NANO is a peer-reviewed online journal capable of publishing a full range of media and designed to encourage new interpretations and new possibilities. We are particularly interested in submissions that explore and articulate representations of place via narrative structures, especially the different ways such places and structures are recorded, communicated, and critiqued.  We invite submissions that address forms of these two broad questions:  how do narratives traverse through a “somewhere”?  And, equally important, how are real and imagined places narrated?  Acceptable formats, sizes and lengths are listed below.

Deadlines concerning the special issue to be published in NANO:
– Jan. 28th, 2013: Call for papers
– Jun. 28th, 2013: Deadline to submit full papers & works to Laurene Vaughan (laurene.vaughan@rmit.edu.au) and Matthew Bissen (mdbissen@gmail.com)
– Aug. 30th, 2013: Comments sent by the editors to the authors
– Oct. 18th, 2013: Final version of the papers & works submitted by the authors to NANO for the review process (For the detailed instructions to the authors, please look at the web site of NANO: http://www.nanocrit.com/~nanocrit/submissions-information/)
– Nov. 15th, 2013: End of the review process
– Jan. 31st, 2014: Final versions of the selected papers sent by the authors to NANO
– May 2014: Publication of the special issue in NANO

(This will coincide with the publication of work in the parallel issue on Cartographies and Narrative in The Cartographic Journal)

Submission Guidelines:
Format Guidelines concerning the special issue to be published in NANO:
Papers with images –3,500 words maximum; 15 images maximum in high resolution—JPEG format preferred
Film Shorts –5-10 minutes maximum using .mov, .mp4, or .wmv formats
(min res = 426 x 400, max res 1920 x 1080)
Sound Essays – 10 minutes maximum using .mp3 encoding at bitrates above 256 kbit/s (preferred)
Electronic submission preferred. Text submissions should be sent as an email attachment using MS Word (doc.) or Rich Text Format (.rtf). Refer to the list above for multimedia submissions. Do not include your name on the attached document, but do include your name and the title of your note in the body of your email. All manuscripts should follow MLA guidelines for format, in-text citations, and works cited.  Please send any questions that you have to Laurene Vaughan (laurene.vaughan@rmit.edu.au) and Matthew Bissen (mdbissen@gmail.com).

Copyright and Permissions:
NANO expects that all submissions contain original work, not extracts or abridgements. Authors may use their NANO material in other publications provided that NANO is acknowledged as the original publisher. Authors are responsible for obtaining permission for reproducing copyright text, art, video, or other media. As an academic, peer-reviewed journal, whose mission is education, Fair Use rules of copyright apply to NANO. Send questions to the editor.

We would appreciate it if you could inform us in February if you plan to submit a paper or work to one of these special issues.

Please feel free to contact Sébastien Caquard or William Cartwright concerning The Cartographic Journal, and Laurene Vaughan and Matthew Bissen concerning NANO.

International Cartographic Conference 2013 – Deadline for submitting abstracts: Nov. 1st

Please remember that the deadline for submitting papers and abstracts for the 2013 International Cartographic Conference in Dresden (Germany) is November 1st (very soon…). During this conference, the art & cartography commission aims to organize several paper sessions, as well as different art related activities such as the screening of a movie on cartography and narrative (the movie is currently under production). We hope to meet a broad range of people interested in the relationships between art, culture and cartography.

A Ship Adrift

Fascinating virtual art project by James Bridle who developped an application to map the virtual journey of a real ship – which is actually a ship put on the top of a building in London as an art installation – based on meteorological condition(1).

In this video, the specific description of the project starts at 9:25. You can also find more info about this project here: http://booktwo.org/notebook/a-ship-adrift/

Thanks to Diana for pointing out this project.

(1) If I understood properly the project, there is a small issue in the narrative since the drifting of the boat depends on meteorological conditions that are measured in London while the boat is virtually crossing Europe where meteorological conditions might be different…

David Maisel – Photography

I bumped into the work of David Maisel thanks to the exhibition called Subverted, in the Ivorypress art gallery in Madrid (until 14th April). Wonderful big photographs, many of them related to cartography and map making.


David Maisel. Terminal Mirage 5

In David Maisel’s website can be read: “Maisel’s aerial images of environmentally impacted sites explore the aesthetics and politics of open pit mines, clear-cut forests, and zones of water reclamation, framing the issues of contemporary landscape with equal measures of documentation and metaphor.”

Don’t miss The Mining Project (1987- 2007), Oblivion (2004 – 2006), Terminal Mirage (2003 – 2005), The Lake Project (2001 – 2002), The Forest (1985 – 1986) and Mount Saint Helens (1983 – 1984).



Mathematical Mountains

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.

Mona Hatoum – 3D Maps

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.

Mona Hatoum 3d Maps

Image from http://personal-geographies.blogspot.com

Here you are a video by Tate Britain, “Mona Hatoum, studio visit.”

“Collaborative Landscape” by Flynn O’Brien

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.

mile end mapping

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.

New book on Arts & Cartography (and environmental issues)

The book “Mapping Environmental Issues in the City: Arts & Cartography Cross-Perspectives” has now been published by Springer. This book compiles the different contributions from the workshop that we (the commission on Art & Cartography) organized in Montreal in September 2010. We would like to thank all the persons who have contributed to make this project happen.

This book complements the growing body of literature exploring the relationships between arts and cartography . It is distinct from the previous ones by its main focus: The multiple ways of representing a database. In the context of the exponential increase of the volume of geospatial data available, addressing this issue becomes critical and has not yet received much attention. Furthermore, the content of the database – environmental issues in the city – gives a strong social and political texture to the project.