A map or a system?

The artist/cartographer is the enabler, subverter and documenter of experience

In: Harmon, Katharine. The map as art, pp.9-16

The trip to Belgium can be used as a starting point for a mapping project.

Mapping can be everything. Ideas to experiment with:

  • map a day -record/document everything during a day but set some parameters/rules: for example street/place, time, activity
  • map of thoughts -can be combined with the previous: street/place, time,activity, thought
  • sum up every place in a word and associate this place with a single word
What does make a map being a map?
Maps and diagrams always follow a system. For example in ‘The Great Bear’ people always get confused when looking at the point where two lines intersect -and that’s because the designer imposed completely different information on an already existing map- for example how can a footballer’s line can intersect with a philosopher’s line? What’s the key, the idea behind it?
Talking about systems, I was introduced to a project of a Chelsea College of Art and Design graduate, Dan Cottrell, which invented a new system/guide on how to get lost
In his words:

AWOL is a guide to getting lost, encouraging exploration and an increased awareness of your surroundings through a series of algorithmic walks.
You won’t know exactly where you are going on these walks but will always return to your starting point, so you can enjoy the new surroundings and experiences without the anxiety that often comes with being lost.

A compass that doesn’t work helps you to get lost even quicker, and the whole package comes in a custom PVC map case with blue trim.

(from his site http://dcottrell.com/projects/awol/)

He also has some brief information on psychogeography on his progress blog for the specific project:

Psychogeography is defined as:
– the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organised or not, on the emotions and behaviour of individuals
– a whole toy box full of playful, inventive strategies for exploring cities…Just about anything that takes pedestrians off their predictable paths and jolts them into a new awareness of the urban landscape.

(from his blog http://dancottrellfmp.tumblr.com/)

The question to my idea is: am I trying to create a new map or a new system?

If a system is the answer three things come in mind which I should consider:

  • time
  • space
  • experience

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