(Un)balanced conference – Montreal, Nov. 3-4, 2011

The BALANCE-UNBALANCE conference will seek to develop an interdisciplinary approach in order to “deeper awareness and creating lasting intellectual working partnerships in solving our global environmental crisis” (ambitious program…).

Among the different activities proposed, there will be a session entitled Mapping environmental issues from above & from the ground. “Building on a previous workshop entitled “Mapping Environmental Issues: Arts and Cartography Cross-perspectives” (http://mappingworkshop.wordpress.com), this session aims to bring together scientists, artists, practitioners and students interested in mapping environmental issues from different perspectives, using different (and unconventional) approaches.”

Deadline for submitting abstracts: Aug. 2nd, 2011 (more details here)

Experimental Walking Tour in Paris: A Dialogue between Artists and Cartographers

International Cartographic Conference, 2011 Paris
Experimental workshop „Art & Cartography“

Exploring visible and invisible borders in Paris – a dialogic walk with cartographers and artists

Monday, july 4th, 5pm – 10pm
Meeting point: Palais de Congrès, Porte Maillot (exact meeting point will be announced soon)

During an experimental journey through the nearby neighbourhoods of Paris, cartographers from various countries and Paris based artists (for example: dancers, actors, textile designers, architects, painters etc.) will solve together a creative task and hence enjoy a hopefully intense exchange of ideas along the way. Both fields – the arts and cartography – will contribute to a sharpining of different reception modes while walking and driving through Paris’ urban space.
Mixed groups of cartographers and artists will be send out to places and areas where invisible and visible borders, limits, ruptures of the Paris topography can be witnessed (inspired by Eric Hazan’s wonderful book “The Invention of Paris. A History told in footsteps”, 2002).

For that purpose three different parcours will be prepared and a folder with quotations, hints and maps along with some tools and devices for the documentation process will be provided.

Around 8pm the groups are supposed to gather in LA RUCHE (a co-working space at 84, Quai de Jemmapes: http://www.la-ruche.net). There, a series of largely plotted maps of the given areas is prepared, so that the sketches, notes, photos, objects can be arranged and labelled in the sense of a collage.
Some food and wine will be offered. A professional photographer accompanies the activities of this experimental workshop and will provide the participants with a selection of pictures afterwards. The participants of the workshop will get a list of contact details in case they wish to stay in touch with each other for further meetings.

Number of participants is limited: Please register via: barbara.piatti@wiko-berlin.de

The map displayed above is the Nouveau Plan de Paris divisé en 20 Arrondissements (1860, drawn by Charles Smith). Each arrondissement is carefully hand tinted in a different pastel colour. A subsequent owner drew in lines indicating the placement of the new, wider boulevards (planned by Baron Haussmann). The map reflects Haussmann’s power and determination as he remodelled Paris from a medieval city to a modern one (copy of University of Illinois, Chicago).

Workshop – Paris – July 2nd, 2011 (program)

Here is the latest version of the program of the workshop that will take place on July 2nd, 2011 in Paris at the Institute of geography –  191 rue Saint Jacques, Paris 6e (Room: 316 Third floor). This workshop is a joint event organized by the Commission on Maps and Society & Working Group on Art and Cartography of the International Cartographic Association (ICA)

Mapping Processes and Practices:

Arts, Maps and Society

July 2nd, 2011

PARIS – Institute of geography

9.15 – 9.30 – INTRODUCTION (Sébastien Caquard) (room 316)

9.30 – 10.20 – Session I – WHAT IS A MAP? (room 316)

– When is and what makes, a map a map?, Laurene Vaughan

– Constant reterritorialization using mappings as boundary objects: a study into the life-cycle of maps in collaborative spatial planning, Linda Carton

10.20 – 10.50 – COFFEE BREAK (room 405)

 10.50 – 12.05 – Session II: COMMUNITY MAPPING (room 316)

– The potential role of provisioning park managers with a collaborative, geo-oriented data resource to support decision-making, Monique Elsley

– The Impact of Scale on Participatory Mapping Practice and Outcome, Steve Cinderby

– Public problems and Web mapping: towards a new public participation? Jean-Christophe Plantin

12.05 – 13.15 – LUNCH BREAK (room 405)

13.15 – 14.30 – Session III – EMPOWERING OTHERS (room 412)

– “It’s hard to know nothing about my home.” Participatory mapping and the re-membering of a nation, Jon Corbett

– Reconciliatory Ethics in the Project to Create the Cybercartographic Atlas of the Lake Huron Treaty Relationship Process, Stephanie Pyne and D. R. F. Taylor

– Mapping Across Borders: Online Collaboration, Social Networking and Micro Volunteering, Michael Martin

 14.30 – 15.45 – Session IV – ALTERNATIVE MAPPING I (Practices) (room 412)

– Mapping Historical Spatial Data: A Case Study of the Spatial History of Cinema Venues, Alwyn Davidson

– LAND. HERE. a subjective cartography of Fox Glacier, Chris Cottrell

– Mapping on the go: Playing and navigation in location-based games, Sybille Lammes

 15.45 – 16.15 – TEA BREAK (room 405)

 16.15 – 17.05 – Session IV – ALTERNATIVE MAPPING II (Theory) (room 412)

– The map and the mobile body: process and representation in GPS art practices, Gavin MacDonald

– Vernacular mappings: affect, virtuality, performance, Joe Gerlach

17.05 – 17.20 – CONCLUDING REMARKS (Chris Perkins)


For more details, please contact:

Sébastien Caquard (scaquard@alcor.concordia.ca) or

Chris Perkins (chris.perkins@manchester.ac.uk)

Mapping the Republic of Letters

This is not a new project, but in case you have missed it (like us) when it was released a couple of years ago, you may want to take a look at it. The Mapping the Republic of Letters project developed at Stanford presents an interactive mapping application offering different ways of visualizing the relationships between the origins and destinations of thousands of letters mailed throughout Europe during the early modern period (1500-1800). This on-going interdisciplinary project definitely reflects the humanist culture that characterized the early modern period it represents. It could definitely be a stimulating source of inspiration for anybody interested in mapping (social) networks.

Alexander Chen Musical Metro Map

Quite an impressive combination of art, carto, sound, design and technology! In his Conductor project (www.mta.me), Alexander Chen

“turns the New York subway system into an interactive string instrument. Using the MTA’s actual subway schedule, the piece begins in realtime by spawning trains which departed in the last minute, then continues accelerating through a 24 hour loop. The visuals are based on Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 diagram.” (see http://blog.chenalexander.com/2011/conductor-mta/ for a full description of this fascinating map).

Thanks to Daniel Naud for pointing me to Chris McDowall’s blog which includes many interesting animated map including this one (Note: this map was already mentioned a few weeks ago on (e)space&fiction).

Mapping Processes and Practices (Workshop – July 2nd, 2011 – Paris)

In their article Rethinking Maps, Rob Kitchin and Martin Dodge (2007, 331) argue that cartography should be envisioned as “a processual, rather than representational, science.” This process-oriented perspective challenges conventions in cartography, but also reflects more common mapping practices in other disciplines. In the arts and humanities the term mapping is used more broadly and includes a diversity of practices and expectations. Artists and other creative practitioners have developed their own mapping practices to express understandings, fears, hopes, emotions and perceptions about places and people. Approaching mapping as a process and set of practices raises a range of issues:

  • How do mapping processes and practices vary across disciplines?
  • What are the consequences of deploying different ways of mapping to portray the world?
  • What politics are facilitated by mapping practice?
  • What ethical possibilities flow from a processual approach to mapping?
  • How might aesthetics and function respond to change?
  • What roles do technologies play in mapping practice?
  • How is meaning constituted through mapping action?
  • What is the affect and emotional consequence of an ontogenic approach to mapping?
  • What are the relations of embodied actions to mapping?
  • What are the social consequences of mapping practice?

To address these questions the Commission on Maps and Society of the International Cartographic Association (ICA), in collaboration with the Working Group on Arts and Cartography of the ICA, are organizing a one day workshop in Paris (just before the 25th International Cartographic Conference). This workshop aims to bring together researchers, students, practitioners and artists interested in the processes and practices through which they make, enact and study mapping.

Given the topic of this workshop we are seeking reports on work in progress, rather than finished papers and invite abstracts around any of the above questions.

Important deadlines

Feb. 21, 2011. Abstracts (about 400 words) to Chris Perkins (chris.perkins@manchester.ac.uk) and Sébastien Caquard (scaquard@alcor.concordia.ca)

Mar. 1,  2011. Proposals selected

Mar. 7, 2011. Preliminary program is published

Moving map Symposium (Lausanne, Apr. 14-15, 2011)

Eidolon is a research network dedicated “to contribute to innovation in cartography either directly or by stimulating research.” This group is organizing a moving map symposium in Lausanne, Suisse (Apr. 14-15, 2011) with a very impressive program including speakers such as Bruno Latour, Emanuela Casti, Jacques Lévy, Franco Farinelli, Michel Lussault and many others. This symposium will be organized around three workshops (Who’s the Author of these Maps ? Mapping Values and Social Justice. Ethics Despite Aesthetics ?) and will also include an art exhibit and a map contest.


Stories in Reserve

Stories in Reserve is a project that involve a group of artists exploring – and mapping – places with a dual point of view: from the insiders perspectives and from the outsiders one (e.g. tourists). The first volume includes three audio tours: transnational commerce in Tijuana (by Ricardo Miranda Zúñiga);  Superfund-classified wildlife refugees in southern Illinois ( by Sarah Kanouse); and Vancouver’s site of the 2010 Winter Olympic games (by Ryan Griffis, Lize Mogel & Sarah Ross). These tours are presented with full-color maps and images. The books can be ordered for $15 + the cost of shipping. The great news is that the book and the audio tours are also downloadable for free

Understanding Different Geographies (Workshop)

Following the successful workshop on Mapping Different Geography that took place in 2009, the University of Vienna is organizing another exciting workshop entitled understanding different geographies – Communicating Meaning with Geo[Graphic] Artifacts that will take place at Puchberg am Schneeberg, Austria from January 31st till February 3rd. The outcome of the 2009 workshop is an edited book that has been freshly released.