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Keynote

Mapping Matters: Propositions on Place, Data and Subjectivity

Janet Abrams, Director, University of Minnesota Design Institute

Date: Wednesday, May 30
Time: 5:00pm - 5:30pm
Location: Imperial Ballroom

A map's value is often assumed to be in direct proportion to its accuracy, but is technical precision overrated? Recent mapping projects by artists and designers suggest that the representation of subjective experience is coming to the fore as a priority, now that digital technologies have opened mapping to bottom-up participation by multiple contributors in real time, rather than presenting a top-down view of fixed, supposedly authoritative, data. While subjective mappings are sometimes messy and unfamiliar in their contours, the boundaries of mapping itself are also beginning to blur, as this strategy is applied to fields and subject-matter beside physical terrain, prompting questions such as: 'Where is "here" in an era of continuous mobile communication?' 'What are the borders of mapping?' 'Can we map the invisible?' Drawing on projects included in "ELSE/WHERE: MAPPING - New Cartographies of Networks and Territories" and subsequent work by some of the book's featured artists and designers, I will present some propositions on mapping and where it's heading.