The Art of Mapping exhibit

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.

“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.

(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” (, 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)

Impressions: Experimental Walking Tour in Paris

Walking Tour Map: Quartier du Sentier

The working group of Art & Cartography had a very creative and inspiring workshop at the International Cartographic Conference (ICC) in Paris. During this activity, 26 people from all over the world with different backgrounds and interests related to arts and maps came together to walk through five Parisian areas in order to map the visible and unvisible frontieres. This was a very stimulating event as illustrated by some the following pictures:

University of Applied Arts Vienna: Mapping the Terminal

Exibition at Vienna Check-in-Terminal, Wien Mitte:

Students of the University of Applied Arts Vienna were working on the complex transit spaces for over 2 years. They turned their attention to the questions: How are you guided and tempted through the terminal? Can we learn something about the structur of our future society through those buildings? What influences has the architeture on the flow of passengers?

The results are presented in the form of drawings, photographies and movies, from 9th of June to 1st of July. 2011 at the Check-in-Terminal of the CAT Terminal, Mitte Wien. (Check-in at Towncentre of Vienna).

Please find more information on the official webpage:

mapping the terminal

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: 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:

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 ( or

Chris Perkins (