My map defines the process of determining where people are most happy on our campus. It also maps the personal, social, and intellectual fulfillment according to where people live based on the results of a survey I administered for my psychology class. My project changed quite a bit from my original plans as troubleshooting occurred. One major setback was my inability to draw architecturally accurate buildings, and I really wanted to give each structure the credit and intricacy it deserved. I didn’t anticipate this to be a problem, so I first intended my map to be very pictorial. So, an unforeseen discovery or solution was to use a similar method as my self-portrait. The concentric circles I used in my first piece did a really effective job of showing the magnitude of an idea or concept, which is really what I was looking to do here. So I implemented the same aesthetic, a mathematical and sterile visual approach to an invisible concept. I wanted to use a clean and almost cold visual representation to evoke the sterility and clinical feel of acquiring and analyzing data for a scientific purpose. I also had some trouble with deciding what exactly to include on the map. Our campus has a number of buildings and structures that are important to the landscape but did not appear in my data. I had to decide which truth I wanted to reveal: the architectural and visual accuracy or the truth of my analyzed data. This choice was difficult for me to make, so I used smaller filled-in circles to show the Mead Way houses as existing, but not important to my empirical data. I used a blue palette to evoke placid emotions and also watercolor for the road system on campus, to create the feeling of rivers flowing instead of pavement, a much happier and more peaceful material. The reading of Psychogeography really influenced this map because it was a somewhat visionary experience, though it was not in anyway political. I attempted to transform the current environment into something with a bright future, traversing the land with a purpose and awareness that seeks to contribute a message to the landscape. It helped me to see the campus in a whole new light, hear new sounds and read into the particulars what I see everyday.
For my conference project I wanted to go off of my previous map. I was happy with my self-portrait but finally I realized it had too much information. My idea about national identity didn’t come across as much as I initially intended it to. That is why I’m dedicating a whole map to this thought.
When I started contemplating on how I would want to map this idea of national identity that became prominent when I started college this year, I knew that I wanted to base it off of places around campus. Another thing I new was that because I wanted it to be “simpler” than my previous map, with less information, I wanted it to be more visually impacting.
At the beginning of the semester, when I started collecting materials for this course, I turned to a family friend who used to be an art teacher. She gave me all types of materials she had from those years: from old sketchbooks to beautiful colored pencils. In her package, was a stack of papers with an interesting looking grid printed on them. I knew I wanted to use them in a project. But I had forgotten all about them until I recently rescued the stack when trying to figure out what format I wanted to use for this project. It’s not that I randomly picked them up and decided to use it on the spot- I was able to connect the peculiar grid that appealed me with my idea on national identity.
As you can see, the grid forms many triangles. With them I wanted to represent a duality that recently became a triality when I started college. The initial duality was composed by my two backgrounds: the Spanish and the American. This third side represents a new state, product of the two original ones. It’s an undetermined state that I don’t fully understand, but that I know is there. Therefore what I have decided to map is this uncertain state that came about when I moved to Sarah Lawrence. So what better place to map this feeling than our campus?
I decided to take four places around campus where I’ve noticed myself being aware of my national identity throughout my first year here. Those being: Bates, Titsworth, the Library and Hill House. I chose to represent them with a circle for two reasons: on the one hand I wanted to make a contrast with the very geometrical appearance of the grid. On the other, circles tend to be indicative of location (in this sense, also creating a conceptual contrast because on my map they represent, in a very standard and defined way, a place where I feel myself undefined and questioning). I caught myself thinking about my identity for different reasons in each of those places- but that wasn’t something I wanted to map, because ultimately, it comes down to the same feeling, regardless of where I am.
My final map:
The “making the invisible visible” idea of my map is visualizing the inner world and let the feelings blend into the real world. The real world is presented through recording myself through camera. It is the catching moment of the past and makes it last forever in the photograph. The inner world is presented through my drawings of things and feelings. The merge of two aspects of looking at life creates a tension between the invisible and the visible.
Through out my process, I did not change a lot in terms of my idea. I only had to adjust some ways of presenting the map. Such as a more playful calendar surface. Instead of dates, I use feelings and notes. Also making the calendar the connection system.
My new surface and connection system:
As I said in my draft. This project process was not same as my usual routine. I was not that paranoid about planning all the steps before I start doing actual work for the project. And it turned out to be less intense and more surprised as I went on doing it. It was really great to know that.
What I took the most from our class discussion was it changed my way of looking and thinking in everyday life. I think of site-specific all the time. Being a better observer of my own life definitely contribute a lot to this project.
This is the sketch of my map surface:
My process of doing this conference project was quite different from my usual routine. I used to make plans and tried to think everything through before starting. However, this time I tried to reduce my complicated planning in advance and start play around my project visually. I took the chance of spring vacation to have my friend take many great photographs of me on our trip to the Bahamas. And played around with them on the photoshop.
Here are some images of my signs:
I am going to map out my feelings either of the time that the photo was taken or the feelings that I had when I saw the photos. Some of them are abstract and some of them are concrete. My map is going to define my invisible thoughts and feelings. And I am making them visible on my map. It is a combination of real life(recording of my moments through camera) and world of thoughts(things going on in my mind).
The surface is a calendar. The sign system is my collection of photos. And the connection system are my feelings. My project is going to be a print out. I am doing most of my work on photoshop and my own sketches.
The technic and style of doing my sketches came from the artist Abby Phillips(outside of class). The book on psychogeographic from our class discussion.
In a previous draft of this map, the main focus of my project was to use a series of circles, with each layer of the circle representing a different fear. The closer to the center of the circle, the deeper the fear. However, while working with this concept in mind, I slowly began to realise that perhaps using a circle was not the most ideal for my project. Although I was able to create a visually obvious ‘gradient’ of fear, I felt as though using a circular shape was constricting the growth of what I was trying to represent.
In my second draft of this map, I’ve opted to use a series of haphazard, jagged shapes which are a culmination of my fears and anxieties. The closer to the border, the more triangular the shapes become to represent agitation. Colour, too, plays an integral part in creating this feeling of agitation. A big inspiration came from Untitled (War Painting) by Kim Jones, which can be found on page 19 of The Map of Art by Katherine Harmon.
For my surface, I plan to use old newspaper clippings to help give the map a more concrete time and location.
The following images are of my final map, and include the newsprint.
When I began with this installation project, I was very daunted by both the size, and the pressure to deliver such a poignant message. My installation hopes to “overwhelm by fact”. Once you enter you are faced with a monitor that has numbers that are moving at a rate of three digits per minute, which reflects the number of people that are becoming refugees. This is based approximately on recent refugee toll consensus. Behind the numbers are pictures of the many important historical and cultural sites that were bombed by the IS in Iraq and Syria. To the left is Iraq, to the right Syria. The backgrounds of both walls are statistics: good, bad, mundane, everything I could find, statistics to us have become numbers, the idea is to make you notice that you don’t care anymore. In front of these statistics will be screens playing videos- videos of violence, dance, poetry, war, culture: life. Life still goes on despite war, statistics can help us forget that and other the victims of war and injustice, let me now overload you with all the images you half pay attention to all day, maybe then, you will be affected.
As a design piece, my installation proved many challenges. I was originally planning on using the metal structure that the visionaries used in their sculpture, when visiting their site and walking through their space I was really inspired by the idea of being enveloped by art, on all sides, the potential for delivering maximum affect. But with circumstances of Formal and rain, I had to consider other options for my base structure. My solution turned into an attempt at carpentry that went better than expected. I was at first worried about my ability to be able to use tools for the carpentry process, however I became very rudimentary in my design and reverted to nails and hammers for the construction of the entire structure. The biggest struggle came when I realized that Home Depot only cut straight lines and couldn’t make cutouts in my wood pieces—this was a problem because I needed spaces for the wires to connect the LCD screens to the power source and computer. This caused a drastic shift in my thinking: I discarded the LCD monitor idea and decided to go with tablets. After being able to recruit enough friends to lend me tablets, I was able to then puncture holes with a screwdriver just big enough for the small chargers to go through. I was then left, with one more challenge. I had thought the easiest part was going to be making this ticking refugee toll, I was sorely mistaken. I soon learned that coding knowledge was needed for this, knowledge that I did not know. Through some pleading and favors someone from the coding class made me a program that would make the numbers increase, it apparently wasn’t that complicated. What became complicated however was that this program could only work on a computer… and my installation couldn’t support an LCD monitor anymore. I solved my last and final issue by finding by the grace of app makers an app that converts allows you to remotely control your computer through your tablet, thus allowing the coding program to open and be displayed! The process was tumultuous and stressful. From near-miss hammer and nail accidents to the logistical nightmare of moving it into Heimbold, I have gained both respect and admiration for the sculpture process, but have never more understood the danger of underestimating time.
I had never thought of mapping in such a physical and three dimensional way before both this class and the undertaking of this project. Even the basic physical lines of life represent a potential for signs and mapping, both visible and invisible. Through this project, I really hope to make you feel invisible—the life of the ordinary man Syria/Iraq—through bombarding you with the visible that we’re shown every day. The life that still goes on is a notion that the news likes to squash. Its like we want to believe when a country is at war, there is nothing else their citizens can be doing but “being at war”, but hey, look at that—divorce rates increased, I guess lawyers got more popular—but no one cares, right? Because war is numbers, deaths, dollars, drones, who cares Iraq’s unemployment rate finally improved?
This map aims to make visible countries which, for whatever reason, no longer exist. These countries might have been annexed, voluntarily become part of another country, or have been secessionist states that were quickly dissolved. Some, like Transylvania, still exist somewhere in popular conciousness. Some, like the Principality of Trinidad, were born of the eccentricity of an individual.
Most began and ended as a result of the imperial game, something else this map visualises, the positioning of the countries and the shape of the map itself is based on a map from the early imperial period and the decoration is from another, suitably altered to distinguish the space these lost countries inhabit from the space created by early imperial mapping.
The countries unfortunately came out too small to label them, but I do quite like the way they look like scraps of paper blowing across the barely-there earth. I do wish I had been able to put more personality into the countries, and put something of their story into the map, but I do like the implicit unity that the uniformity provides. Especially because there is in reality almost nothing similar about most of these countries.
The ’empty throne’/’empty globe’ line art was adapted from a map in which the globe was populated and the throne occupied.
I like the idea of vestiges of imperial trappings rendered meaningless but still framing the content. Originally I planned to keep more of the border and merely warp it to suggest the change. I really liked the vibrant colours and wasted a lot of time trying to make this work:
I learnt a great deal about my software from this project and my project changed a great deal due to my software and the limitations imposed by my knowledge of it. Not being able to translate an idea into pixels is still very frustrating, but I was determined not to just give up resort to a more comfortable medium again,
The biggest complication in the execution of this project was therefore my uncertainly about exactly what I wanted/could do. I am worried that it came out rather like my self portrait aesthetically speaking; clearly I have a strong unconscious pull in the direction of clean lines and plain backgrounds.
Visually I am happy with how this project looks, and I would like to think that the idea comes across, although I have a suspicion I may have made some choices for aesthetic rather than artistic reasons. I regret that I was not able to label the countries, because otherwise they remain somewhat lost, even when ‘mapped’, but there simply wasn’t space.
No single concept from the class particularly influenced this project, rather the concept of the whole class did. Lost countries is perhaps the most literal route one could take in a class called ‘mapping the invisible’. Thankfully ‘literal’ does not in this case mean either simple or uninteresting. I acquired a mass of facts; some new skills; a boatload of geographical, political and artistic theory; and have thoroughly enjoyed myself in the process.
My map defines the process of trying to calculate the happiness of Sarah Lawrence’s campus. I am in Adam Brown’s Psychological Science of Happiness class and for my conference project I administered a survey to attempt to map the happiness of students at this school. The survey drew results explaining the overall happiness, and personal, social, and intellectual fulfillments based on where people live. Because my data was limited by a small sample, Andrew’s Court and the Mead Way houses were not included. My sign system pinpoints the living spaces that were included by participants in my data, and the surface was made out of watercolor. It is the system of roads that makes up the geographical campus. The connection system is a visual representation of the data that came from the survey. It’s colors categorize social, personal, and intellectual fulfillments and the number of concenctric circles shows the degree of that category for each living space. I chose blues because of its placid tone. At first I was going to do a pictoral map so I photographed my sketchbook where I started to draw the buildings, but I decided the shapes were more evocative of the sterile atmosphere that is science and conducting experiments. By choosing to use photoshop instead, I think it gave the project a completely new aesthetic.
My conference project maps an invisible, imagined geography. It is a choose your own adventure/scavenger hunt hybrid which leads the participants to inhabit an invisible forest which overlays the campus landscape.
My project changed overtime because I initially planned to write several different stories. Instead, I decided to write one story that allowed the participant to inhabit the roll of the main character and make decisions about what to do next. I thought this might be more revealing of the psychogeography of the individuals.
The only complication was that someone left with all of my #8 notes so I will have to recreate those.
I was inspired by Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities. I wanted to create an imaginary landscape that has its own specific affect, just like the cities Calvino describes.
My map defines the invisible process of the way in which natural light adds to the beauty and theatricality of specific buildings in New York City. I feel as though the sunlight that streams in through the windows of these architectural monuments adds to the beauty and warmth of the building itself, and ultimately leads to a type of performance put on by the interior of the structure. This “performance” makes the audience (or people within the structure) pay attention to the way in which the light hits various parts of the room, allowing better understanding or “absorption” of the architecture.
The viewer’s participation and individual reaction to the work deems the work itself as a theatrical performance meant to inspire reflection. There are specific factors that are applied to art and architecture (such as time and space in relation to weather, lighting, and season) that are regarded as essential to the display (or the performance) of the piece. The experience of the individual is what ultimately defines the work; an experience that is aroused by the way in which the room or building is displayed.
A lot of inspiration for this conference project comes from Tadao Ando’s Church of Light. This structure is one of the prime examples of the concept of theatricality in architecture and the difference between a structure’s era of “performance” versus the time in which environmental factors are not in favor of the building. The interior of the church is simple with very little ornament, and the major focus point of the structure (a large cross cut out of the wall that provides a source of light to the inside of the building) relates the interior directly to the exterior. In addition, essentially all of the visual documentation of this structure is taken at the point of the epiphany, and never when the interior is “void”; an act of censorship similar to the way in which artists can control the environment in which their work is displayed, unlike the real, functioning structure of the Church of Light in a current and continuous context.
In this project, I went to various locations in my neighborhood on the upper west side and took note of which direction the windows were facing. I went to the Apple Store (SE), my own apartment (SE and S), Lincoln Center Opera House (E), Church of St. Paul the Apostle (SW and NW), and Grand Central Terminal (W and SW). After going back to these places 2-3 times throughout the semester, I realized that there were certain directions (most prominently, Southwest) in which the sunlight was more consistently shown through the widow. This is where the surface of my map plays an important part; the yellow of the southwest corner represents the most sunlight while the opposite side of the “compass” (the Northeast corner) is gray and dark. Then, I took the pictures of the sunlight streaming through the windows and plotted them on the map’s surface in relation to the connection system: the compass.
Our initial discussions about what renders something “invisible” to society greatly influenced my thoughts the process behind figuring out this conference project. I feel as though the natural light coming in through a window is something that is so common that it is frequently overlooked, yet it still possesses a beauty that in the rare moments it is recognized, there are always feelings of warmth and pleasure associated with this experience. In this map I hope to bring this invisible process to light.
Throughout the semester, this project went through a series of revisions; all of which contributed to the final product. In the beginning, I focused solely on collecting data and studying the light that came into these buildings, contemplating direction, time of day, and height of the structures. After this stage of the process was complete, I discussed the ways in which I would plot these points, and what the surface of the map would be. Through trial and error, I established that the surface of the map would attempt to copy the “color” of light; as in, the way in which sunsets (one of the more vivid displays of light) have countless variations of color schemes. I took multiple pictures of sunsets and made many copies of the color gradients that were displayed in the photo.
One of the main complications that presented itself throughout this project was the fact that many of the buildings I studied in New York City are surrounded by other, taller structures. This meant that there were often times when sunlight should have been streaming in through windows in the building, but this warmth was being blocked by the rest of the towering city. Even on the sunny days I went to these buildings, they would often seem a lot darker in comparison to the sun’s actual force that day. (Side Note: While most of the buildings were mostly dark, if one went a few blocks away to the great lawn in Central Park, hoards of people were swarming for a spot in the sun).
A pleasant surprise while working on this project were the reactions (unprompted) of other people in the spaces I was studying. There were times (although infrequent) that people would stop for a second and bask in the warmth of the sunlight indoors, or purposefully stand in the patch of natural light on the ground. Without even realizing it, the few people that displayed this behavior confirmed my idea that this was something beautiful; something that could be mapped and discussed.
The concepts from the class that influenced this project the most were the discussions we had on what could be deemed “invisible” in this society. In addition, the discussion during the Psychogeography project about “site-specific” sculptures was incredibly relevant to my project in the sense that in the buildings I studied, environmental factors were directly related to the various data I collected.
My map defines the invisible process of the Ordinary. Kathleen Stewart’s depiction of this concept in her ethnography Ordinary Affects inspired my attempt to adapt this into the format of a map. As an anthropologist, Stewart attempts to illustrate life in America without using oversimplifying terms and systems. In the introduction to Ordinary Affects, she states that “the notion of a totalized system, of which everything is is already somehow a part, is not helpful…in the effort to approach a weighted and reeling present.” Instead of using the typical academic social science semiotic jargon to explain phenomenon, she told a story about America through vignettes that followed affects, rather than symbols.
In my map, I hoped to create an alternative type of map of affects, as Kathleen Stewart wrote an alternative social science ethnography. Instead of creating a representational map of a distinctive system, I made a map of the ordinary details of life that are normally left out of maps. I used a chart of the stock market crash, because it is one image of a larger system comprised of statistics that many people use to define American Life. This system leaves out a lot of the smaller details of ordinary encounters. The stock market chart is intentionally low resolution: I played around with just tracing the shapes of the line rather than using the image from the Internet, but I realized that having the chart in low resolution would bring out rather than compete with the other details that I wanted to highlight, like the Google Maps screenshots and ripped up notes.
The images from Google Maps represent random, seemingly insignificant views of America that are often ignored in favor of zoomed out maps or images of places with higher populations. I did a series of psychogeographic “derives” to find these places on Google street view, and I decided to display them by “cutting” out parts of the stock market chart on photoshop. I wanted these cut outs to look more like rips in the surface of the chart, similar to the paper rips on the side of the notes, but I could not quite figure out how to do that unfortunately.
The notes on the border were the last development to this project. Because the stock market chart is rectangular, I did not use the entire 40 by 40 space. The map looked incomplete, and I was not sure how to add to it. After some of our class discussions, I decided to use the borders to add another narrative element to the map in addition to the “sign system” of marking where ordinary events occurred. I used ripped up notes to expand upon the idea of showing ordinary parts of life by writing (fictional) scraps of somewhat mundane topics, like grocery shopping lists or gossip. Aesthetically, one part of this that I wish I could improve is the handwriting. I found it really difficult to change my handwriting for each different note, and as a result they all look like they are by the same person. Additionally, I used the same type of paper for all of the notes, so if I had more time for this project I would have tried to collect different materials to write on. Also, I am not completely sure what my connection system is- In some ways, the lines on the chart represent a connection system, but this doesn’t play a large role in the content of my map.
My conference project is centered around the theme of being overwhelmed by facts, more specifically statistics concerning the state of Syria and Iraq during their “war” with the IS. On TV and through other media sources we are reminded of the horrors that occur in places that are safely contained in the frames of our devices. We never expect to experience the horror, much less think about it in any more terms that the “factual evidence” given to us. More attention is paid to the numbers, the data that events produce, rather than understanding or even delving into their constructive nature—it doesn’t so much matter why the IS is on the offensive, but the deaths, or more correctly the number of deaths, is what we use to measure our horror. I want to highlight the many aspects of life in the war effected areas that go unrecorded- just because a country is at war does not mean that war is what constitutes it, I plan to bring to the viewers attention the “invisible” but very real, statistics of the lives lived as a juxtaposition to the overly paid attention to negative “death” aspects of war. It is hard to begin giving agency and legitimacy to peoples or cause if they are only seen as victims (like most of the effected peoples in Syria & Iraq), the other that must be saved.
In order to engage this conflict I want to create a structure that will be an interactive (sort of) sculpture/installation intended to overwhelm the senses on the issues of war (paying particular attention to the IS situation in Syria and Iraq) using the most beloved tool of news reporters: statistics. The structure itself will be a large rectangular structure that a person can enter and be able to turn and view all sides. As the person enters the first thing they will encounter is a screen with slowly increasing numbers, this will reflect the real time death toll [one person every 10 minutes, 3 people become refugees every minute]. This will be the first jarring image, I want the viewer to be consumed at first by this changing number, it should disturb, but then encourage the eye elsewhere. Behind the screen will be a chicken-wire fence (attached to the metal structure) with barbed wire on top. Through the holes of the fence will be very gorgeous pictures of the places destroyed and pillaged during the fighting (many Babylonian and Assyrian sites have been damaged, temple of Ur, Mosul) to really create that sense of unease—you are seeing at once both the rising death count and the beauty that there was, diminishing more and more as each number changes.
The walls on either side will each also have monitors and will be playing scenes of violence from the wars on loop, volume on. This will be accompanied by stereos that will be within the structure that will provide a constant mélange of sounds and voices (guns, bombs, traditional singing, birds, prayers, political activists speaking, riots, chants, children…), in conjunction with the monitors the auditory as well as visual effect of this collaboration will hopefully overwhelm the viewer. On the walls behind the monitors there will be recorded statistics regarding the two countries and the area on varying topics that do not necessarily pertain to the horrors of war, but still reflect its impact (such as, how many marriages were performed? Or how many houses had lights in the evening, how many olives were cured? How many students graduated?) to contrast the blatant war and violence being shown on the monitors, the ticking death toll flickering in the periphery.
With the way we are bombarded with images, statistics and “data” in our everyday lives, we do not pause to think perhaps their true importance or weight- the only difference between 200 people being dead and 1,000 is the amount of breath you take to say it, it doesn’t really affect you any less or more. I want to take the singular statistic and make the viewer engage with it in the multiple- will you feel it more if it’s bigger? We take in world horror so easily because to many, it’s just a number, but what happens if we multiply? One becomes movies and shots and screams, laughter and agony. By bombarding the viewer with all the information s/he is paralyzed, forced to stop and really look, look at war (the screens), and look at everything you’ve missed (the backdrop).
I started working in film when I was sixteen, and became really obsessed with keeping track of my ‘network,’ aka the contacts I’ve acquired through my working in freelance. I’ve done this in order to jump on it if these contacts start businesses/projects of their own (which they often do) so that I can reach out to them immediately — usually they need the help of someone with my skill set. So I strive to capitalize.
In a way, this path has been a dérive. Because I still sit fairly low on the totem pole in the world of media production, it’s been easy for me to observe those who stand above me. And because I work freelance, I’ve crossed paths with all of them many times, in differing situations (different commercials, short films, PSAs, etc…). I’ve sort of stalked them via social media (linkedin, facebook, instagram..) and whenever I run into them I don’t hesitate to ask what gigs loom in their futures. I’ve kept track of all of this information over the years, so for my conference I plan to map this network.
I will probably map 20-50 people. I’ll include information such as where they’re from (usually NY and LA, but a few hail from the midwest), what they studied (or didn’t study) in school (not film, in most cases), what sort of gigs they set out to work (usually indies / short films), where they are now (mostly doing commercials (duh)), and what their goals are / whether or not they’ve achieved them. Most people who work in freelance film hope to start their own production companies – and many of them have done so. I think this is important information to include.
My map will probably be a series of intersecting circles. The intersections will signify a crossing of paths — so, for example, ADVIL will be a circle, as will Under Armour, Venus Razors, and various short films. I’ll also be sure to signify the production companies that bring the freelance workers together. In my circles, SMUGGLER and INTERROGATE tend to dominate.
These circles will lie over a map of the US. The paths the freelance workers have taken to arrive in NYC will lead to the circles, which will then intersect.
Mathilde and Simon, for their conference project, have created a set of uniforms to use as wearable maps. The uniforms are a short and T-shirt set in all black. The shirt have a grid of holes.
The mapping project, will be to weave through the holes with grey, white, and black string to record their movement based on their decoding of signs throughout the East Village.
The signs will be attached in the turning or transitional moments of the grid, each block will be another stitch, and each symbol will mark the transition. The symbols will be morbid tattoos, signs of death, and signs of caution in the physical realm.
The project was inspired by Merlin Coverley’s Psychogeography and Marina Abramovic’s trauma performance art. Mathilde and Simon will be wandering through the city as psychogeographers, while creating a performance art piece at the same time.
The purpose of the project is to uncover an untold narrative in the urban landscape and to archive the accumulated knowledge in an abstract context. the wearability of the map emphasizes the transformative nature of costume in urban exploration and geography, it allows for the participants to separate themselves from their preconceived context, and consistently re-imagine the world, as if they were seeing it for the first time.
Our two perspectives will create two maps, and our collaboration an entirely new narrative. Our perspectives both unique in the sam experience.
My project is a hybrid narrative- choose your own adventure- scavenger hunt. Participants will read the story in pieces and make decisions about how to navigate the landscape. They will be given a map which will help them to determine the location of the next note/story fragment. Above is an image of what the first note will look like.
Below are images of the site where this will take place and some details of places notes will be hidden.
The invisible thing that I am making visible is an imaginary landscape. The narrative I am creating is intended to lead the reader to identify themselves with the narrator and navigate the landscape as though it is, as depicted in the story, a forest.
I was inspired to do this project in a choose your own adventure format after reading Psychogeography. I thought that the way individuals choose to engage with the story would ultimately be reflective of a type of landscape navigation, much like there are several different types of psychogeographers (ie stalkers, flaneurs etc).
I was also influenced by Ghosh’s novel, Shadow Lines because it provided a kind of narrative mapping that was very interesting to me, and is similar to the project I am undertaking.
My map defines the invisible process of the way in which natural light adds to the beauty and theatricality of specific buildings in New York City. I feel as though sunlight that streams in through the windows of these architectural monuments adds to the beauty and warmth of the building itself, and ultimately leads to a type of performance put on by the interior of the structure. This “performance” leads to the audience (or people within the structure) paying attention to the way in which the light hits various parts of the room, allowing better understanding and absorption of the architecture.
Our initial discussions about what renders something “invisible” to society greatly influenced my thoughts the process behind figuring out this conference project. I feel as though light is something that is so common that it is frequently overlooked, yet it still possesses a beauty that in the rare moments it is recognized, there are always feelings of warmth and pleasure associated with this experience. In this map I hope to bring this invisible process to light and make this beauty available to be viewed consistently rather than in the brief moments of time when natural light is visible indoors.
The vague areas of this piece are the how I will plot each building on the compass. I intend to pick a direction (south-west, as this tends to be the side of the building that gets the most sunlight, without acknowledging in the vast amount of factors that alter this statement such as floor level or proximity to other buildings) and place the most color in the surface in this part of the map, making these places/points deemed more “beautiful”.
By choosing to map this process on photoshop, I will be able to attempt to copy the various color gradients of natural light through the multiple functions on paint. Additionally, the text and the straight lines of the compass will be done entirely on photoshop, making the map neater and allowing the pictures stand out against the soft background of the surface.
Artist Reference: Original maps and cartographers
For my final project, I will be creating another 40×40 map exploring fear. The map will be divided into four different layers, with the center most point being the a depiction of ‘the self’. Each ring on the map represents a different fear of mine, and the closer to the middle, the deeper the fear. The idea of dividing the map into rings was done to create a gradient of fear.
To help inspire me, I have been reading Dante’s Inferno. The idea for this map came from the nine circles of hell. by exploring fear, I am hoping to make this a very personal and perhaps even expository map. There will be no fixed colour palette for this map, as each layer might look quite disconnected from the previous. Another source of inspiration were Buddhist and Hindu mandalas. Although I have moved away from the original concept, I am trying to use particular elements.
For the first circle, I will express my fear of spiders. For this ring, I am choosing to employ a more hazy, almost cutesy art style to show how irrational this particular fear is.
For the second circle, I am exploring my fear of the dark. This layer will not consist of any images, but will play primarily with light and other manipulations.
Currently, the biggest obstacle in my map is working with the third and fourth rings. For the third ring, I need to find a way to represent my biggest fear, which I will not discuss for now. For the fourth ring, I am trying to find the most accurate way (to me) to create ‘the self’. I hope that once I complete my first two rings, I will have enough inspiration to address these two issues.
My map shows the way in which the narrator emotionally views the space in which she’s inhabiting; it challenges the question of presence- demanding that one consider the elements that combine in order to create someone’s presence: are they solely physical? are the mainly psychological?
In some ways, my conference project is tied to psychogeography, because I’m trying to view the space as the narrator does, and sense the invisible presences of the other characters!
I was originally struggling in trying to find a way to show the presences of the other characters in the book, but am now going to use color as a way of doing so. I decided to go for a thick creamy paper, so that the colors I use (including white), will really stand out. I was actually heavily influenced in my illustrative style of the map by children’s illustrations, Korky Paul, in trying to evoke the Victorian homes through huge amounts of high detail.
I was inspired for my conference project by a plot element from G. Willow Wilson’s comic Air.
The country of her story never existed, of course, but it got me wondering about countries that had existed and no longer do. Of course there are many thousands, and we cannot even begin to know the names for lands in pre-historic eras, but still there is something incredibly compelling about the idea of philosophical or metaphysical ramifications for a nation which ceases to officially exist.
Ceasing to officially exist (or never being recognised as a legitimate state) is of course a highly political subject, however I want to refrain from making too many political judgements and focus more on something a little more occult. Supposing a country only existed for a few years and then became something else, or was annexed – what about currency, stamps, birth certificates, criminal proceedings…all the little things that make up people’s lives. Those can’t just be wiped off the map, so to speak.
Various philosophical and quantum mechanical theories engage with the idea that everything which existed must still exist, otherwise it couldn’t have ever existed. My question then, is where do these lost countries exist? And what would that space look like?
I’ve always loved old imperial maps; they’re preposterously gaudy and often filled with information.
Given that the vast majority of the better recorded disappearances occurred during the imperial period, I thought it would be interesting to map these lost countries onto an imperial map, as opposed to something more ostensibly impartial and modern.
The first image above shows the beginnings of my superimposition of the countries onto the old map, which will be aesthetically dismantled and warped into something more ghostly and difficult to understand. This is still a rather vague area in the project, and it will be interesting to see how it turns out. Getting the names of the countries on there will also be very important.
These are some of the lost countries I have put in so far (as best retroactive estimates can describe them). The Bavarian Socialist Republic, Chechnya, and Katanga. They were all secessionist states of varying degrees of recognition.
Initially I was going to only use secessionist states, because I think there’s something prettily tragic about a failed attempt to form a nation, but I have decided to add annexed states (where they do not overlap). That should populate the space a little more.
Aside from learning a lot about history and geography, I’m sure this project will be an interesting artistic challenge.