37.1: Mapping

The cover of Dandelion Volume 37, issue 1
Publish Date: 2011
Managing Editor: Kathleen Brown
Assistant Editor: Sandy Pool
Contributing Editor: Oana Avasilichioaei

In the transfer from here to there [to move past here], in the time from us to you [to place leaving], in the room from yesterday to today [fade lines sun the furniture fabric], in the direction from a bridge to an artifact [from dock to platform to tarmac], in the genealogy of sound to fauna [can we animal voice?], a map is sketched [, light phasing before after now] and in this action we chart a set of relations [leaving place] and are, in turn, -[a loop]- mapped by our mapping.

A map of the loop loosed.

In recent years, as ideas of national, cultural and linguistic borders have been shifting due to changes in technologies, political movements, business policies, media, to name just a few, many practitioners in various fields are considering the impact of these shifts and re-imagining how we might structure, connect, dissolve, reinvent these emergent set of relations.

Charting how we preserve and destroy habitat, subverting statistics, recovering place by re-naming, allowing spaces to perform on us. Where is where in the soil of spaces we’ve overturned. The map of how a bird is built to plunge into open ocean. The map of miles of discarded plastic floating offshore, belying ultramarine. Whethering, where-ing the invisible, marking silences, the map growls on.

Recent collections which have explored this subject include An Atlas of Radical Cartography (ed. Alexix Bhagat & Lize Mogel, 2010), Experimental Geography: Radical Approaches to Landscape, Cartography and Urbanism (ed. Nato Thomson & Independent Curators International, 2008) and Else/Where: Mapping New Cartographies of Networks and Territories (ed. Janet Abrams & Peter Hall, 2008).

To continue the conversation, The Mapping Issue drew together varied art practitioners from North America and Europe whose work in languages, visual arts, architecture, environmental design, cultural production, sound and moving images investigates mapping as concept and as action. Through experimentation, collaboration and hybrid work, The Mapping Issue considers mapping as categorizing, cataloguing, interpreting, seeking, naming, uncovering. Or mapping as interference and intervention, as metaphor, mapping as geographical imaginings and as linguistic analogy.

A map of damp pages of notebooks and journals,
a map in the knit toque, the suits, we take turns trying on.

The geography keeps shifting into bloom and decay. Our border disrupts this dialogue. Dialogue will dissolve our borders. Or enflame them. Will these trajectories double back, mislead us? We leave unnoticed through a back gate to mark a country elsewhere. We pass the perennials and smell softly. What is our intention in this space? Our margin is a pinprick. A suite of words we apply to remembering our time in the map itself. One of us balances. One of us records. We enter the idea sideways, disjunctive: produce architectures, perform language, inscribe intervals. The city growls towards a future because it has no direction. The city flaunts the pasts’ absurdities in the overpass. Frequencies jam. Then our distortions wander. How do we chart this aliveness? Of marginal weathers, of limited instruction, insert passage here.

The loop of a map opens closings, a map unravels [maroons]. A map for us to traverse, invent, gnaw at, search for over and over again.

– Oana Avasilichioaei and Kathleen Brown, Editors


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