[artinfo] Art & Mapping - special issue of Cartographic Perspectives

kanarinka kanarinka at ikatun.com
Wed Jun 7 00:59:35 CEST 2006


The National Assocation of America Cartographers 
(NACIS) has released a special issue of their 
journal, Cartographic Perspectives:

Art and Mapping
Issue 53, Winter 2006
Edited by Denis Wood and John Krygier
Price: $25

The issue includes articles by kanarinka, Denis 
Wood, Dalia Varanka and John Krygier, and an 
extensive catalogue of map artists compiled by 
Denis Wood. See abstracts below.

Please contact Susan Peschel: sqp at uwm.edu.


Map Art
Denis Wood

Artists make maps. Inspired by maps made by the Surrealists,
by the Situationists, by Pop Artists, and especially by
Conceptualists of every stripe, artists in increasing
numbers have taken up the map as an expressive medium. In an
age less and less enamored of traditional forms of
representation - and increasingly critical - maps have
numerous attractions for artists. Beyond their formal
continuities, maps and paintings are both communicative,
that is, constructs intended to affect behavior. As the
energy of painting has been dispersed over the past half
century into earth art, conceptual art, installation art,
performance art, video art, cyber art, and so on, it has
dispersed the map as a subject along with it. The
irresistible tug maps exert on artists arises from the map's
mask of neutral objectivity, from its mask of unauthored
dispassion. Artists either strip this mask off the map, or
fail to put one on. In either case artists simultaneously
point to the mask worn by the map, while they enter unmasked
into the very discourse of the map. In so doing map artists
are erasing the line cartographers have tried to draw
between their form of graphic communication (maps) and
others (drawings, paintings, and so on). In this way map
artists are reclaiming the map as a discourse function for
people in general. The flourishing of map art signals the
imminent demise of the map as a privileged form of
communication. The map is dead! Long live the map!

Interpreting Map Art with a Perspective Learned from J.M. Blaut
Dalia Varanka

Map art has been mentioned only briefly in geographic or
cartographic literature, and has been analyzed almost
entirely at the interpretive level. This paper attempts to
define and evaluate the cartographic value of contemporary
map-like art by placing the body of work as a whole in the
theoretical concepts proposed by J.M. Blaut and his
colleagues about mapping as a cognitive and cultural
universal. This paper discusses how map art resembles
mapping characteristics similar to those observed
empirically in very young children as described in the
publications of Blaut and others. The theory proposes that
these early mapping skills are later structured and refined
by their social context and practice. Diverse cultural
contexts account for the varieties, types, and degrees of
mapping behavior documented with time and geographic place.
The dynamics of early mapping are compared to mapping
techniques employed by artists. The discipline of fine art
serves as the context surrounding map artists and their
work. My visual analysis, research about the art and the
artists, and interviews with artists and curators form the
basis of my interpretation of these works within varied and
multiple contexts of late 20th century map art.

Art-Machines, Body-Ovens and Map-Recipes:
Entries for a Psychogeographic Dictionary

A map is more than a picture, but what are artists doing
about it? "Mapping" has exploded as an artistic practice.
Artists are making geographic maps, psychogeographic maps,
sound maps, demographic maps, data-driven maps, and
emotional maps. Artists are performing maps-enacting and
documenting location like never before. With the advent of
new media art, GIS and mobile technologies, the concern with
data collection and mapping through locative media is
pursued with both romance and criticality. This article
presents a dictionary of terms and projects that demonstrate
the variety and complexity of these map-art practices. These
projects utilize the map in a political and social dimension
to produce new configurations of space, subjectivity and
power. Their methodology is based on an ethics of
experimentation; the map is a tool to experiment with a
particular territory in specific ways in order to reach
unforeseen destinations.

Artists and projects discussed include: Alex 
Villar, Brian DeRosia, Bureau D'Etudes, Cheryl 
l'Hirondelle, Glowlab, iKatun, Institute for 
Applied Autonomy, Institute for Infinitely Small 
Things, John Osorio-Buck & Matthew Ward, Lee 
Walton, María Bogadóttir and Malene Rordam, 
Mobilivre-Bookmobile, Natalie Loveless, 
Nomads+Residents, Shih-Chieh Huang, Sifting the 
Inner Belt & spurse.


Jake Barton's Performance Maps: An Essay
John Krygier

Jake Barton, a New York-based designer, creates public maps
that generate social interaction, personal expression, and
collaborative storytelling. Barton's work is centered on
performance, drawing attention to the performative capacity
of maps, a seldom-explored facet of cartographic design and
theory. Examples of Barton's projects, realized and
unrealized, are detailed, with a focus on the manner in
which maps are designed to evoke performance.

Catalogue of Map Artists
Compiled by Denis Wood

This catalogue is largely based on the contents of ten map
art exhibitions, as well as on a handful of books that deal
with a significant number of map art pieces. Though it is
without question the most extensive catalogue of map artists
so far published, it makes no pretense of being complete.
Its role is to document the fact that a lot of artists work
with maps, and to provide a foundation for the work that
remains to be done.  The artists have been arranged
alphabetically. Where we have been able to determine these,
we have provided, in parentheses, where the artist
lives/works now or predominantly (in any event, not the
place of birth or nationality), followed by the date of
birth (and where appropriate, death). There is a brief
description of artist's work, followed by a key to the
sources. These are listed at the end of the catalogue.  Only
the lightest culling has been attempted, but artists working
today with but a single known piece of map art in their
oeuvre have been less likely to be included than those with
many or than those artists of the relative past whose work
may have influenced the work of those active today.

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