Maps and cartography have been, traditionally, tools to express and exercise power and have been used exclusively by a few people who held the knowledge. Nowadays, this practice is enriched by more and more nuances and gets contributions from all sorts of fields.
We find maps exposed in galleries, painted in the streets, and drawn as acts of performance art, dealing with the necessity to express identities and culture in mass societies. We see maps based on a huge amount of information and real time data coming from social networks, which were only made possible once computer science and the web appeared, thus enabling us to have an unprecedented knowledge of what’s happening in cities. Cartography is even used as a tool to emphasize critical aspects of our society that, otherwise, wouldn’t be noticed and as a platform to solve these same problems.
All of these multiple approaches are becoming a common experience as they are often the result of a participative process and are shared as open source information. On one side, this shows the need of understanding the growing complexity of reality and the quantity of information that is being produced. On the other side, it expresses the need to re-create an identity through self-knowledge in the actual context of globalization.
I have decided to examine the current state of cartography due to the influence it’s having on many fields today, with the power to be transversal with the classical arts. This research is an ideal continuity with the exhibition that was recently hosted by Caixa Forum (Madrid), on contemporary cartographies. The exhibition started with the situationist and surrealist approaches that opened up the mapping discipline, introducing contaminations from other fields (art, politics, statistic…) overcoming the scientific point of view, showing it lacks the description of reality.
The aim of my investigation is to make a MetaMap, a research on different types of maps I come across, in this meta-map we will see the multiplicity of possible outputs, as well as the common points between them. Taking advantage of the web and its horizontal-knowledge rather than the classical vertical and deepened knowledge. The research was made seeking projects and asking the same set of questions to the authors. These interviews should make it possible to separate the different tendencies and intentions of mapping, tracing connections, and intersections. I manage to focus on particular authors by interviewing them to better explain their work.
This is the list of posts published in this series so far:
The posts in this series by our collaborator, Tommaso Miti, were be published once a week under the MetaMap category. You can follow the conversation in your favourite social network through the #metamap hashtag.