Before the summer we were tasked with joining forces with one of the other MADM students to work on a short ‘collaboration project’. The aim is to show us the advantages and methods for working in a creative collaboration. I paired up with Poy, an architect turned designer who is looking into a concept very closely aligned to mine – that of memory and nostalgia in relation to places we have been.
We were asked to put together the objectives of the project:
- Knowledge: seeking to gain an understanding of a specific sub-question aligned to my project, looking at the nature of the map; what different methods of cartography can express locality?
- Skill: seeking to gain an ability to work directly with someone else to critique ideas and challenge my concepts; looking to gain additional working methodologies or ideas on creative problem solving
- Attitude: seeking to gain a better conception of what it is like to work in a creative collaboration and be more willing to share and work on art ideas in a group setting;
So now to work! We have an initial concept we have been thinking about individually over the summer break. I want to look at what is a map and Poy wants to understand how we react to a new place the first time we experience it. This gives us a great synergy in actually doing some live action creative cartography – looking to ‘map’ both a new and a familiar place.
Poy showed me a link to these amazing tactile maps made in Inuit communities.
A great extract here from a paper by Peter Whitridge on the significance of place-making in relation to the Inuit maps.
Human spatialities are every-where complex and heterogeneous, at each historical moment articulating embodied actors with a simultaneously symbolic, social, and biophysical world. Place is regarded here as the effect of a general movement of thought and practice that imbricates the real and the representational at complexly layeredsites, and along heterogeneous seams. The investment of particular locations with meaning (place-making) is a ubiquitous social and cognitive process. Lookingmore closely at the archaeologically and ethnographically well-described Inuit case, networks of places and paths can be discerned at a host of spatial scales, from the vast expanses of the arctic landscape and sea ice to the intricate topologies of houses, bodies, and tools. Homologies, however fragmentary, between these toposemantic arenas point to a ﬁeld of circulation of representations that can be labelled “the imaginary”, and its regional networks “imaginaries”. A place can be thought of as a spatialized imaginary, a nexus of imaginary signiﬁcations at the site of its intersection with the real.
Landscapes, Houses, Bodies, Things: “Place”and the Archaeology of Inuit Imaginaries
Anyway, this is at the root of our idea to create a tactile map which documents our experiences of new and familiar places, showing how we respond to the subtleties in the place. We are going to do some tests on deciding the form of our final map-object (although we have decided it will be 3D) and then off to conduct our psychogeographic expeditions.