Jeremy Wood: 2 exhibitions in London in May

Jeremy Wood has been carrying a GPS with him for years, recording his movements at the surface of the earth (and in the air). Through this process he has been drawing all sorts of shapes and writting all kinds of georeferenced messages (one of his most famous message was the quote ‘It is not down in any map; true places never are’ from Herman Melville (Moby Dick) (Note: This work appears in the essential book Else/Where Mapping: New Cartographies of Networks and Territories edited by Janet Abrams and Peter Hall in 2006).

If you are in London in May, you will have a chance to see how constistant he his – geographically speaking – in the recurrent process of MOWING THE LAWN

“New drawings by Jeremy Wood created with GPS and a riding lawnmower. The exhibition charts the artist’s movements over several seasons of mowing.
Wood makes use of his unique GPS data stream by precisely plotting his time, date and position coordinates to reveal an evolving exploration of travel.”

Tenderpixel Gallery (www.tenderpixel.com) London
May 13 – June 22, 2010, Tue – Sat 1pm to 7pm
Opening May 13 from 6-9pm

Later on in the month, Jeremy Wood will also reveal his new work entitled TRAVERSE ME at the Mead Gallery. According to the author, “It’s based on the idea of 1:1 scale mapping and it’s my most intricate work so far.” We’d like to see this.
Mead Gallery
May 29 – July 3, 2010, Mon – Sat 10 to 6 pm

Finally if you are interested in the work of Jeremy Wood you should certainly read his conversation with Tracey P. Lauriault that appeared in The Cartographic Journal in 2009.

Seeing The Art In Cartography

BBC4  is broadcasting a series called The Beauty of Maps. They have a web-site where you can have a look at it. I haven’t done that myself yet in deep;  when I try to see the videos a  this -video-is-not-available-in-your-area kind of message pops up (I am trying it from Spain, by the way). Anyway it seems very interesting, as they focus nor only in beautifuly selected Historical Maps, but also in those new ways o depicting the digital world we live in.

“Carte du tendre” in the Google era

Few centuries after Madame de Scudéry’s famous “Carte du tendre” here is the most recent version of artistic detournement of maps for expressing ideas, emotions, perceptions and even recipes. Artists Christoph Niemann uses the now famous symbology of Google maps to represent multiple forms of journeys: From the humoristic trip of the eggs to the omelet; to the more political representation of the opposite directions taken by both main street and wall street. If the concept is not totally new, its recontextualization in the Google era is definitely original, funny and meaningful.

Thanks to Daniel Naud for pointing us to this project.

Workshop “Mapping Environmental Issues in the City”

We (“the art and cartography working-group”) are organizing a workshop entitled “Mapping” Environmental Issues in the City: Arts and Cartographic Cross Perspectives. This workshop will take place in Montréal at Concordia University from Sept. 08th to Sept. 10th 2010.

“This workshop aims to encourage and explore the interactions between cartographers, artists, designers and any other area of ‘arts’ (poets, writers, dancers, gamers) who work in the various aspects of spatial representation. This interaction is envisioned as a way to stimulate the emergence of new forms of spatial expression that could contribute to a broader and deeper understanding of geographic phenomenon.”

Artists, Cartographers, Geographers and others interested in this topic are invited to submit a proposal before April 15th, 2010. More information at: http://mappingworkshop.wordpress.com/call-for-proposals/

24 hours Tattoo Mapping Performance

Another fascinating mapping project: Deeply personal and highly political. Artists Wafaa Bilal (who’s brother Haji was killed by a missile in Iraq in 2004)

turns his own body – in a 24-hour live performance — into a canvas, his back tattooed with a borderless map of Iraq covered with one dot for each Iraqi and American casualty near the cities where they fell. The 5,000 dead American soldiers are represented by red dots (permanent visible ink), and the 100,000 Iraqi casualties are represented by dots of green UV ink, seemingly invisible unless under black light. During the performance people from all walks of life read off the names of the dead.

According to infosthetics.com:

Kyle McDonald designed the visualization for this remarkable tattoo, which contains more than 4.000 US soldiers in red ink, and more than 100.000 “invisible” civilians depicted in ultraviolet ink.The process of visualizing the data involved a lot of research, including reconciling plain text descriptions containing GIS place names, warping the geographic coordinates to design for the landscape of the back, and distributing the deaths in an organic but respectful way.

Thanks Tracey for pointing us to this project.

Synchronous Objects for “One Flat Thing”…

…reproduced by William Forsythe, is a project about visualizing choreographic  (can I say geographic?) information in new ways. Could choreography and Dance be used to research about Movement, Space and Visualization? Can Cartography and other mapping artifacts be used to help choreographers’ creativity and work?


Coproduced by The Forsythe Company with the Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design and the Department of Dance at The Ohio State University. Synchronous Objects reveals the interlocking systems of organization in William Forsythe’s ensemble dance One Flat Thing, reproduced through a series of objects that work in harmony to explore its choreographic structures and reimagine what else they might look like. Here!

Nous ne notons pas les fleurs

Tintin Wulia is a contemporary artist doing fascinating cartographic performance. Her more recent work “Nous ne notons pas les fleurs” was inspired by the words of Antoine de Saint-Exupery in Le Petit Prince. In this performance she explores ephemerity through the creation of a large map of India with flowers. This performance was developed during a brief residency at Khoj International Workshop in Patna, India.

Another fascinating performance is “Terra Incognita, et cetera.” It was developed since early 2009 and have since been exhibited at Bus Gallery, Melbourne, and Centraal Museum, Utrecht (the exhibition there is closing today, 10 January 2009). In this performance the audience is asked to claim some pieces of territories on a large map based on the Bucky Fuller’s Dymaxion projection. Beautiful and stimulating.

As described by the artist:

The best part about it is, there will be little cocktail-sized white flags lying around, and you will be able to write your names on those flags, then stick it on whichever blood speck you want on the map.

At the end of the day, I will transfer the names written on the flag next to the corresponding blood specks in the passport-books. And so the names written next to the blood in the passport-books will change daily.

All this process will be recorded somehow, and shown immediately perhaps. Hm. Surveillance camera?

I’ll keep thinking.