Photography and cartography are entwined in similar processes of subject orientation that structure our experience of social, environmental and virtual landscapes. A map is not a representation so much as a system of propositions. This project reveals mapping itself as a generative process of knowledge creation, a liberatory method for re-imagining and re-imaging our world, its built and natural environments, and the relationship between space and place.
Maps are tied to a history of authority, scientific rationality and practical application, masking the underlying subjectivity and biases of their creation. Satellite-based navigation, the disciplines of geography and, more recently, urban planning, have popularized and proliferated map imagery while helping to cement an aura of unassailable cartographic objectivity. Maps have become ubiquitous tools in our daily lives, and are understandably identified in accordance with a few simple assumptions: they are graphic representations of spatial relations and their creators are technicians bound to graphic systems that reflect a physical reality. However, the true nature of maps is one of distortion, beginning with their projections of three-dimensional surfaces onto two-dimensional frames, and compounded by territorialization, a habit of identifying, naming and claiming. Maps are image-objects in which different conceptions and configurations of time and space are created, not just charted.
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