Map Marathon Day 1
Saturday 16 October 2010, 12 noon -10pm
Map Marathon Day 2
Sunday 17 October 2010, 12 noon - 10pm
This year's Serpentine Gallery Map Marathon, 2010, is the fifth in the Serpentine Gallery's series of Marathons. It celebrates a number of key anniversaries: the 40th anniversary of the Serpentine Gallery, the 10th anniversary of the annual architec- ture commission, the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, and the 2500th anniversary of the first, original Marathon, in 490 B.C.
The Marathon Series was conceived by Hans Ulrich Obrist in 2005 in Stuttgart, and launched during his first year at the Serpentine Gallery in 2006, when he became Co-Director of Exhibitions and Programmes, and Director of International Projects. Over the past four years, the series has become closely intertwined with the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion commission, which was conceived in 2000.
An event of this scale would simply be impossible without numerous maps of various kinds, from plans, plots, directions and instructions, to lists, blueprints and mind-maps. Problem-solving at all levels is what has brought this event to fruition. Maps exist for innumerable purposes in life, because they are, always have been and always will be, one of the fundamental means by which human beings repre- sent information; with which we translate, codify and make real- ity intelligible. We are a 'map-immersed' world. Maps can make the complex simple, and the simple complex. Although they invariably distort them, maps have a commitment to facts as their raw material to be described and shaped, magnified and contracted, revealed and even hidden.
This year, that productive encounter between the arts and sciences finds physical form, as we create a link between the Marathon and our neighbours at the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) (RGS), by hosting the Serpentine Gallery Map Marathon in the RGS's spaces. We are grateful to Dr. Rita Gardner, Director of the Royal Geographical Society, for this incredible opportunity.
We are deeply indebted to those organisations who have supported the Serpentine Gallery Map Marathon: the Arts Council of England; The Annenberg Foundation; The Kensington Hotel, London; and our media partners, Time Out London and Wired.
The following blog was written during the Marathon by Muna Abu-Qaoud, Maria Christoforidou, Lena Mohamed, Katie Guggenheim, Ruth Lie, Laura Smith, Sabel Gavaldon, Charles Aubin, Laura Helen Clarke, Tania Doropoulos, Asana Greenstreet, Lily Hall, Egle Kulbokaite, Melanie Pocock, Borbala Soos and Charlotte Turner. It was edited by Nicole Yip and Robert Leckie. The blog reflects their personal take on this event. All photographs © Mark Blower/Hilary Walker
LUIGI ONTANI AUROBOROSERPENTINE
JULIA PEYTON JONES FROM A TO B
"We trust maps to tell us the truth, to tell us 'where it's at', how to get from A to B."
"The web can locate anything and everything, but this means we too can be located"
Julia Peyton-Jones is Director, Serpentine Gallery, and Co-Director, Exhibitions and Programmes.
HANS ULRICH OBRIST INTRODUCTION
"In collaboration 1 + 1 = 11"
"There are many marathons within a marathon - there will be a polyphony of marathons over the next few days"
Hans Ulrich Obrist is Co-Director of Exhibitions and Programmes, and Director of International Projects at the Serpentine Gallery
RICHARD HAMILTON AND EYAL WEIZMAN POLITICAL PLASTIC
"Mapping is a form of political action" Eyal Weizman
"Contemporary colonialism erases the evidence of its making. Mapping is a kind of movement towards exposure, maps against maps, a way towards power and resistance" Eyal Weizman
"Maps are often not maps at all - they're just ideas individuals have" Richard Hamilton
Richard Hamilton (born 1922, London, England) is an artist. He lives and works in London.
Eyal Weizman (born 1970, Haifa, Israel) is an architect. He lives and works in London and Bethlehem.
PETER BARBER MAGNIFICENT MAPS: POSTSCRIPT
"A map of the world is a display object. You can't take it down, you can't use it, it can't take you from A-Z. They cost a lot of money to make. So why bother?"
"It's impossible to produce a map on a 1:1 scale, so in making any map you're selecting"
"No maps are objective. They're works of art - they're meant to persuade. They have an ideological point"
"The only thing that unifies people to some maps more than other is that they believe in it"
"Maps emphasise power"
Peter Barber has travelled through spaces that, for some of us, are only realised through maps. However, he asserts that maps do not, and cannot, reproduce reality; rather, they are selective. Maps are neither static nor objective pieces, but objects of subjectivity and persuasion. Drawing primarily from Medieval and Renaissance maps that plotted the progress of the 'age of discovery', such as those in the Vatican, the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, and the Sienese town hall, Barber makes clear that maps have been propagandised throughout history. They served as a display of influence and authority, where the patron's seat of power was positioned in the centre, shadowing and diminishing those surrounding it. By having a visual reminder of their authority - for themselves, for those they ruled over, and for those whom they hoped to rule over - maps were, and still are, creating 'reality', rather than simply representing it.
Peter Barber (born 1948, Benghazi, Libya) is Head of Cartographic and Topographic Materials at the British Library
AI WEIWEI IN CONVERSATION WITH HANS ULRICH OBRIST
"I've said so much to journalists. I just want people to see my work"
Ai Weiwei is one of the most significant contemporary artists to come out of China, but due to his activism, he is somewhat estranged from the country itself. In this conversation, Hans Ulrich Obrist suggests that Weiwei's mapping of his country is his way of reconnecting with it. However, as China is a country that is continuously changing - shifting its borders, transforming its landscape, altering its city skyline - it is a rather elusive concept, and therefore extremely problematic to map. Some of his key pieces involve mapping through video and photography, an example of which is his project that traces the streets of Beijing from a bus. For the artist, a map does not necessarily entail an expansive, panoramic view of the city, but can epitomise a very personal journey that is returned to again and again, holding within it memories of a space he once occupied.
Ai Weiwei (born 1957, Beijing, China) is an artist, curator, designer and activist. He lives and works in Beijing
TIM ROBINSON/FOLDING LANDSCAPES A DISTRESSED MAP OF THE ARAN ISLANDS
"The white on a map are the spaces of ignorance"
Tim Robinson's move from the overwhelming environment of the London art world to the gentle nature of the Aran Islands off the coast of Galway in Ireland signified a move from the familiar to the unfamiliar. In an attempt to learn more about Aran, he embodied a pen moving over paper, plotting the journeys he took, creating a map. Robinson believes that to map an area is to know an area, but it is often the case that those producing maps have no first-hand experience of the terrain or the people that inhabit it. Subsequently, the maps they produce - especially those with anglicised place names - cause the 'alienation of the local people from their own place', as Robinson suggests. To overcome this, he enlarged his map of Aran and placed it outside, allowing the weather to affect it, and for people to walk over and write on it. He made it public, and therefore a part of the public too.
Tim Robinson (born 1935, UK) is a writer and cartographer. He lives in Co. Galway, where Folding Landscapes, run by his partner M, publishes his maps.
AARON KOBLIN RE-EMBODIED DATA: MAPPING THE UNSEEABLE
"I collected a lot of sheep"
Aaron Koblin (born 1982, Santa Monica, CA, USA) is a digital media artist and designer. He lives and works in San Francisco.
JANICE KERBEL WITH COLIN STINTON BALLGAME
"One two pitch... FASTBALL!"
"Just to remind you what the field looks like, its brown"
Ballgame is written in the tradition of the radio broadcast, and takes the form of a play-by-play announcement of a mathematically 'average' baseball game in which a single male voice announces the game in real time. The script makes no reference to real players, cities or teams. Rather, the game has been constructed out the past one-hundred years of baseball statistics to imagine a perfectly plausible and quintessentially 'average' game that cannot be located in time or place. Over one-thousand games have been analysed to determine each detail of the game: from the dimensions of the ballpark and the construction of the lineup to the timing, location and fielding of each play. The script consists of nine innings of continuous speech lasting two hours and 33 minutes (the average length of a game) and exists both as a written text and as an audio recording to be installed in museum/gallery spaces. Colin Stinton performed a carefully selected extract of the script, approximately 15 minutes in length.
Janice Kerbel (born 1969, Ontario, Canada) is an artist. She lives and works in London.
Colin Stinton (born 1947, Canada) is an actor. He lives and works in London.
ERIC RODENBECK MORE EXTRAVAGENT CARTOGRAPHY
"Maps are ethnographic stories"
"This isn't taking a map and putting things on it, but making a map of things"
Eric Rodenbeck shows a series of beautifully coloured, visually spectacular maps generated from data gathered from a wide variety of sources, including an animation of the universe which maps known data over time and shows the accumulation of objects encircling the sun. Next, colour-coded information from censuses correlating race and geographical location in New York City reveals an extremely segregated, candy-striped Manhattan; equally striking, the prison stands out as a concentrated area of racial mix in San Francisco. GPS data is used to map the activity of taxis in American cities, highlighting gas stations, carwashes and downtown blocks where GPS signals bounce off skyscrapers - inadvertently mapping building height. Data recording the number of McDonalds in the US reveals an East to West coast fade, and the 'McFurthest' place can clearly be seen somewhere in the Nevada desert.
Eric Rodenbeck (born 1970, San Francisco) is Stamen Design's founder and creative director. He lives and works in San Francisco.
AMALIA PICA FIGURES DON'T LIE, BUT LIARS CAN FIGURE
"A thing of beauty is a joy forever"
"Even people who haven't started should be able to tell the truth"
Amalia Pica presents a collaborative project by both artists. Some props - a large cardboard gramophone amplifier and a freestanding blackboard - sit on the stage. Pica describes the presentation as a 'compilation' or 'mix-tape', and it unfolds as a series of anecdotes using images and spoken word. They tell the story of an explorer who set out to map the Sahara but never returned, a shepherd who cooked and consumed his own flesh, and a man walking through deep snow whose steps trace the outline of a desert island. After each section of the presentation, Pica adds a shape cut out of coloured paper to the board in the middle of the stage to represent the story she has just told. She ends by describing the tradition of making world maps into jigsaw puzzles with pieces divided along international borders, and then assembles the coloured shapes that she has placed on the board into one composite, abstract shape
Amalia Pica (born 1978, Neuquén, Patagonia, Argentina) is an artist. She lives and works in London
EMMA WOLUKAU-WANAMBWA IN CONVERSATION WITH DR. STEPHANIE LAWLER
"The appropriation of a stigmatised identity is often used by the middle class to non-stigmatise their own identity and anxieties about their own identity"
"It is only in moments of transgression that the boundaries become visible"
Wolukau-Wanambwa and Lawler stage a conversation about the definition and appropriation of social and cultural identities, illustrated with projected visuals ranging from Booth's poverty map of London to the website, chavtowns.co.uk. They discuss how beliefs and values are internalised and so are considered natural. The dominance of the middle class is achieved by the normalisation of their values, and this process is invisible to both the dominated and the dominating. Wolukau-Wanambwa introduces the notion of 'border panic' to describe the anxiety caused by an attempt to transcend the class divide, and gives two examples: the 1990s television show Keeping Up Appearances, featuring the desperate social climber Hyacinth Bucket, and 'Chav Night' at University College London where society's future leaders dress up in tracksuits and fake pregnancy bumps. In both cases, humour is created by one class trying to pass for another, reinforcing their own social status in the process.
Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa (born 1976, Glasgow, Scotland) is an artist. She lives and works in London.
Dr. Stephanie Lawler (born 1956, Liverpool) is a Reader in Sociology at Newcastle University. She lives and works in Newcastle upon Tyne.
ROSI BRAIDOTTI CARTOGRAPHIES OF THE PRESENT
"The cartographic convulsion of critical theory"
"Continental philosophy - is there any other kind?"
"Language is what cements psychic and social processes"
"It is a necessity to engage with the present. The present is all we have""
Describing herself as a social theorist, Rosi Braidotti presents an animated and engaging talk that focuses on her fascination with cartography, and how it might tell a story of the difficulties of coming to terms with the process of change inevitable to our era. She talks of making sense of the convulsive transformations of advanced capitalism and the challenges of coming up with adequate representations, describing maps as a representation of the truth out there.
Braidotti goes on to describe marriages between parallel experiments within the arts and sciences, and how they might create an intimacy between us. She describes not only wanting to make an intergenerational difference, but also wanting to simply love the world - just for the hell of it!
Rosi Braidotti (born 1954, Latisana, Italy and raised in Melbourne, Australia) is a philosopher and theoretician, professor in the Humanities at Utrecht University, and the author of Nomadic Subjects. She lives and works in the Netherlands.
JACQUES ROUBAUD MAIN MNEMONIQUE (MNEMONIC HAND)
"I discovered the art of memory in the 1960s and early 1970s, and thought it was something wonderful for me. I am a poet, and I write poetry by walking. I compose forms in my mind and take them back home"
"I begin to forget more and more"
Roubaud's words about memory are heartfelt, marrying the arts with science much in the same way as Braidotti did earlier. He describes how people have (re)invented 'the art of memory', a way of mapping memories through distinguishing places in their minds - a practice that has disappeared since the time of the Greeks and Romans. However, by creating his own version of this by mapping his hands, he discovers that he is unable to remember other memories because the memories he had stored previously remain. But how do you wash your mind of previous memories and make your thoughts clean again? Roubaud has to invent again, creating improvisations to replace memories that he had come back to and were no longer there, improvisations that could be celebrated within his work as a poet.
Jacques Roubaud Mathematician (retired) and Poet (not retired, but tired).
ANNEMARIE SAUZEAU ALIGHIERO BOETTI'S MAPPING OF THE WORLD OVER 25 YEARS
"Every time you find a map in the headlines you know it's because something important has happened"
"Boetti loved geography; he loved traveling both physically and mentally. He loved time, time that stood still"
Sauzeau describes with passion the work of one of her heroes, the Italian post-conceptual artist Alighiero Boetti. She suggests that while his embroidered geopolitical maps are quite well known to the public, they are rarely seen in connection with each other and even less so with the rest of the artist's work. Sauzeau describes these interconnections, focusing on the strongest period of Boetti's production from 1971 to 1994. Boetti produced maps that were descriptive of the political goings-on, of the changing of places. Sauzeau's intricate descriptions of Boetti's political and visual work - from the striking map of the world in the post-Communist years showing the shrinkage of the Soviet Union, to the map depicting Palestinian territories occupied by Israel - are fascinating. These are truly 'aesthetics from a world eye', which allow for the representation of political histories in an inspiring and somewhat familiar visual form.
Annemarie Sauzeau (born France) is an art critic and essayist. She is the director of Alighiero Boetti's Archives in Rome.
MONIR SHAHROUDY FARMANFARMALAN IN CONVERSATION WITH HANS ULRICH OBRIST
"If one kind of weapon can be banned, why not all kinds? We would be fortunate if we could take a step towards stopping the profits of the arms industry"
Monir Shahroudy shows a series of new works related to geometry and its meaning in Islamic art. The drawings are constructed from shapes rearranged to fit different spaces. She explains the different meanings of each shape from a three-sided triangle to a 28-sided polygon
ETEL ADNAN READING FROM THE ARAB APOCALYPSE
"A map is not about places but about direction. It is to take you to places. It is a dynamic circus. I just wanted to emphasise the nomadic quality of the map"
"The sadness of wingbats drinking wine, drinking blood"
"The sun has spent the night underground, among the insane and the sick"
"Flowers which produce nightmares... the fainting of stars"
Etel Adnan reads two poems from her book, The Arab Apocalypse, written during the early years of the civil war in Lebanon, which she believed to be the beginning of an 'agony apocalypse'. The poems describe the effects of war in the Arab world, and she creates images that compare nature with human violence. She describes the sun as 'a camera which operates in black and white', associating the white light of the sun with terror and destruction - for example, in the line 'a roof collapsed on five-hundred bodies and the sun took picture for the CIA's archive'.
Etel Adnan (born 1925, Beirut, Lebanon) is an Arab-American poet, writer, painter and tapestry designer. She lives and works in California and Paris.
GILBERT & GEORGE IN CONVERSATION WITH HANS ULRICH OBRIST
"Mapping is part of being"
"Dried blood breaks up in an extraordinary way, like a street map"
''In some way, all our art is based on mapping... cities, towns, places, skin, blood, sweat..."
Gilbert and George recall that maps made their first appearance in their work as early as 1969, when it was used in their invitation to The Meal in collaboration with David Hockney, which required directions because its location was so remote.
The conversation then turns to how they use maps in their work and their vast archive of antique maps of London, which includes maps dating from the fifteenth century, rare postal route maps, pre-war and World War II maps, and city maps that include the locations of scaffolds for hangings. Their presentation is partially a conversation, a reading and a performance, interspersed with three readings that map London through various criteria.
The first, Postcards of London, derives from a collection of 372 postcards collected on the provision that they contain an image of the union flag. Each postcard is then translated into a single-word description of each image and the list of words is read alternately between Gilbert and George:
The second list derives from photographs of London and the third is formed through their collections of cards from London telephone boxes - the criteria being that they must leave something to the imagination.
Bondage with me
Eighteen year old
Five minutes away
Shit what's happened
Stocks and bonds
That bloody hurts
The lists themselves create audio maps of London and function almost as automatic streams of consciousness, developing via systems that prevent Gilbert and George from any real creative input: "we believe the pictures must make themselves".
Gilbert & George. Gilbert (San Martin de Tor, Italy, 1943); George (Plymouth, UK, 1942). They live in London.
RUSSELL HOBAN THE LION OF BOAZ-JACHIN AND JACHIN-BOAZ, READ BY ELEANOR BROWN FOLLOWED BY A CONVERSATION WITH HANS ULRICH OBRIST
"Jachin-Boaz trades in maps... He sold husband maps and wife maps; vision and miracle maps for holy men; money and jewel maps for thieves; thieves' maps for the police; maps for poets"
Eleanor Born reads an extract from Russell Hoban's magical tale of Jachin-Boaz, who makes and sells extraordinary maps of areas specific to particular desires. Hans Ulrich Obrist discusses Hoban's relationships to various types of maps: maps that are connected to action and going to a destination; maps in books that 'good guys' are looking for or protecting; the 'master map' that Jachin-Boaz prepares for his son that will show him where to find whatever he might desire; and maps that prehistoric humans might have made as a precursor to language. The final map mentioned is one created by Hoban's fans. Every year on his birthday, members of Hoban's fan club leave quotations from his books in places where he might find them, forming a veritable map of his movements in the city.
Russell Hoban (born 1945, Lansdale, PA, USA) is a writer. He lives and works in London.
Eleanor Bron (born 1938, Stanmore, England) is an actress and writer. She lives in London.
"I like to turn left and right whenever I want to; I don't really look where I'm going"
Rirkrit Tiravanija's presentation is an informal and improvised conversation about a journey he took through Japan when he was there installing an exhibition. He speaks of roadtrips as a way of escaping lengthy installations, and of the difficulty of travelling in Japan if you cannot read Japanese.
A video of his journey plays on the screen behind him, which shows him departing from a Japanese port via ferry and driving through forests and over bridges with a young Japanese artist showing him the way. Their journey takes a week and they stop en route to fish at rivers and seas. His talk turns to fishing, eating and cooking food for artists, of meeting other fishermen and collecting crabs, and of techniques to catch tricky fish in nets using loud noises and bright lights.
He ends with an insight into his improvised presentation: "I always wanted to be a stand-up comedian - to talk about art in a funny way".
Rirkrit Tiravanija (born 1961, Buenos Aires, Argentina) is an artist. He lives and works in New York and Chiang Mai.
MARINA ABRAMOVIC BODY MAPS
"I hate maps. I really hate them passionately. It's important to lose yourself; then you can find your own way. It's better than any map made in advance"
"The body is the most amazing map you can have"
"Close your eyes and really imagine the map of your own body - three minutes in total silence in the present moment"
'This is Hans Ulrich Obrist; but at the same time he is a human being"
The 'godmother' of performance Marina Abramović brings the discussion to her familiar territory, the body and the self. In her first words she states her aversion to maps and the importance of losing yourself in order to find yourself. She praises the courage shown by Columbus, who set off without a map in a tiny boat, thinking the world was flat. Abramović performs an analysis of her family coat of arms and finds that the symbolism of its different elements is like a map of her soul: both extremely brave and deeply emotional. Hans Ulrich Obrist is called on stage and all the lights are switched off. "Hans Ulrich, relax and trust me. You are now the object of my observation," she says whilst he stands on a sturdy chair, and with a torch Abramović performs a cartography of the human body regarding it as "the most amazing map you can have". Abramović asks for three minutes of total silence and darkness so that each one of us can imagine a map of our own body. Abramović stands motionless in the middle of the stage until the performance ends.
Marina Abramović (born 1946, Belgrade, Serbia) is a performance artist. She lives and works in New York.
ADRIANO PEDROSA Seção de Mapas, Coleção Paulo A. W. Vieira, Rio de Janeiro e São Paulo
"If the dictionary is the total book, the map is the total landscape"
"Maps give the illusion of a precarious stable space"
Adriano Pedrosa presents a lecture based on the Paulo A. W. Vieira collection. The collection includes works by artists such as Olafur Eliasson, Mona Hatoum, Jonathan Monk and Rivane Neuenschwander, all of which deal with mapping and cartography. Focusing on the map as a device aimed to master the unfathomable complexity of reality, Pedrosa explores the desire for a transparent representation of the world - a desire underlying any modern practice of mapping. Far from being merely descriptive, maps impose a structure on the world. Pedrosa also advocates an organic understanding of its borders, regarding them as permeable, dynamic lines subject to continuous change. Pedrosa identifies the utopian will for a 'total image' behind present-day undertakings such as Google Earth - a will previously articulated by Jorge Luis Borges in his short story 'On Exactitude in Science'. However, according to his reading, such an exercise of totalisation necessarily fails to represent the particular, the individual, the concrete. It is an attempt doomed to failure from the very beginning
Adriano Pedrosa is a curator, writer and editor based in São Paulo.
TANIA KOVATS (READ BY AMAL KHALAF AND LORRAINE TWO) ALL THE ISLANDS OF ALL THE OCEANS ARRANGED APLHABETICALLY
"...Alderney, Azores, Buyho, Belle-Île, Bermuda, Bioko, Boa Vista, Borduy, Bugio..."
Amal Khalaf and Lorraine Two read a text by Tania Kovats consisting of a complete list of names of all the islands in the world sorted alphabetically. Despite this taxonomical effort, such an obviously arbitrary ordering makes the list laughable, bringing to mind the fictional Chinese encyclopaedia imagined by Jorge Luis Borges - and quoted in Michel Foucault's preface to The Order of Things - in which animals are divided into "(a) belonging to the emperor; (b) embalmed; (c) tamed; (d) suckling pigs; (e) mermaids; (f) fabulous; (g) stray dogs; (h) included in the present classification..."
The list by Kovats directs our attention towards its rigorous taxonomical procedure, however absurd it may appear. Within the logic of their classification, the names of the islands lose any connection with the territories to which they refer (or their actual location). Each island is reduced to a word, each one equal to the next, and following one another in the homogeneous continuum of the list.
MONA HATOUM MAPPINGS
"It implies movement, instability and precariousness - cities within cities, cultures within cultures"
"Two swings with glass plates for seats - one depicts the east side of the city, on side the west of the city - the indication of impending disaster if they started swinging towards each other"
Revisiting previous projects from a present standpoint, Mona Hatoum's presentation goes through a dozen of her works dealing with precarious spaces and unstable boundaries, from her early performances such as Black Room (1981) to the sandblasted glass swings in Balançoires (2010). Hatoum approaches cartography and mapping in its perverse dimension of control, incorporating geopolitics and biopolitics: the relations of domination and exploitation among territories, as well as the control of life conditions and migrations.
Hatoum dissects the infinite fragmentation of the Palestinian territory in installations such as Present Tense (1996), while reflecting on the postcolonial condition through the use of the Gall-Peters world map projection in works such as Bukhara (2008) or Map (1999), in which the artist destabilises the exhibition floor and the position of the audience. Hatoum analyses how she makes use of familiar, everyday objects in an uncanny way, inscribing within them the violence of the power relations implied in our cartographies.
Mona Hatoum (born 1952, Beirut, Lebanon) is an artist. She lives and works in London and Berlin.
"Maps don't have to be about real things"
"I wanted to prove that stick figures lead lives"
Matt Mullican begins by talking about the image on the screen, which is one of a flag. He explains that it is a map of the five worlds of experience that frame and define the object. Mullican asks if he can have some keys and a man sitting at the front hands him a set. Mullican connects each colour on the image to the possible states that the keys would go through if they were thrown into an infernally hot frying pan. Mullican brings a white board on stage and, with a blue marker pen, sketches how he deals with information. He draws whilst talking us through his thought patterns, hypnosis-state performances, MRI scans, personal symbols, psychic charts and feelings of empathy toward the stick figures he draws. These charts create three maps, which he names 'map of what was happening before I was born', 'map of why things happen to me' and 'map of what happens after I die'.
Matt Mullican (born 1951, Santa Monica, CA, USA) is an artist. He lives and works in Berlin.
SUZANNE LACY PROSTITUTION NOTES (FROM A 1974 PERFORMANCE)
"Anyone you know ever turned a trick?"
"Would you know a hooker if you passed one?"
"Do you feel loved when someone spends money on you?"
Suzanne Lacy recreates a 1974 performance based around notes she made whilst researching prostitutes in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Lacy's notes take the form of maps that emphasise the importance of place where whores and their pimps meet, wait for 'tricks' and drink. Lacy talks about the journeys she took and the cafés she visited in order to find out about 'the life'. She reads out of her diary events and stories collected from a world of money, sex and illusions. On the projection behind her, a young woman traces with chalk a projection of these maps onto a dark surface. Every so often, Lacy stops and we hear recordings of her voice from 1974 defiantly asking personal questions about the nature and possible psychological states connected to the buying or selling of sex. On the screen, a series of images flicker in a photo essay showing the places of the sex industry: sex show signs, sex shop fronts and innumerous blurry photographs of solitary figures waiting.
Suzanne Lacy (born 1945, Wasco, CA, USA) is an artist and writer. She lives and works in Los Angeles and teaches public practices at Otis College of Art and Design. The Prostitution Notes are in the collection of Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Performed/created in 1974. Video production: Peter Kirby; Video performer: Beatriz Valls
NATHANAEL DORENT IMPERATIVE MIGRATION
"Migration is not a threat but a promise... I believe migration is essential to our collective intelligence"
"Behind vertical walls hegemonic powers develop methods of control"
Unfortunately Claude Parent is unable to attend; Nathanael Dorent presents their talk, a dialogue between the two critiquing and responding to one another's ideas.
He addresses a series of questions about perpetual migration, mobility and the future of humanity using conversations between himself and Parent regarding oblique architecture as a starting point. In a conversation about population inflation, Dorent states "the earth is shrinking everyday" and asserts "the necessity of coming to terms with a migratory world" vis à vis the soon-to-be surplus of human population. He goes on to consider open spaces for free circulation, transforming territorial borders and reconfiguring territories: altering perceptions of the earth's ground as private property for a few.
He discusses texts of his own and those of Claude Parent alongside drawings of utopian communities and dynamic architectural plans for border crossing zones and refugee camps: emergency architecture that is flexible and temporary, and projects that are currently in production.
He insists that "the time to proclaim cataclysm has passed", that it is now "a matter of relearning how to live". He finally refers to architecture's role in this endeavour, as capable of addressing migration while not constraining it, and allowing movement and fluidity in the development of new hybrid cultures.
Nathanael Dorent (born 1984, Boulogne Billancourt, France) is an architect. He lives and works in Paris.
TIMOTHY TAYLOR/KRYSZTINA TAUTENDORFER ARTIFICIAL APE: ARTIFICE
"I am artifice"
"As we map a territory, a territory becomes for the first time apparent as a territory"
Timothy Taylor is unable to attend due to the attendance of his female 'double', Krysztina Tautendorfer, who apologises for his absence and explains, "He can never inhabit the space that I am in".
Krysztina's presentation, a performative lecture, is accompanied by a piece of semi-scientific, ambient music and a PowerPoint with a similar diagrammatic feel, as well as numerous quotes from Wittgenstein read aloud in German. She begins, after apologies, by introducing other absent contributors to the presentation: photographer Cairn Raider and make-up artist Lorraine Paylor.
Her lecture addresses themes of space and social space - how each is generated and constructed, and how, contemporaneously, we are supported and created by technology; this is enhanced by imagery and diagrams of the stages of human evolution. She then talks of the material world of artifice, observing how human beings construct themselves, using her own appearance as an example. Finally, she describes the diagram of human evolution as a projection that allows us to endlessly remake ourselves in our own images - or to change them.
Timothy Taylor (born 1960, UK) is a prehistorian at the University of Bradford. His skeuomorphic alter, Krysztina Tautendorfer, is Viennese
ANRI SALA MAPS OF FOUND FUTURE
Anri Sala (born 1974, Tirana, Albania) is an artist. He lives and works in Berlin.
CERITH WYN EVANS CARTE DU MONDE POLITIQUE/POETIQUE FOR PIANOFORTE
Cerith Wyn Evans (born 1958, Llanelli, Wales) is an artist. He lives and works in London.
GENESIS BREYER P-ORRIDGE BACKWARDS SPIRAL
"There is no reason on this earth you should never run out of reason to be... [silence]"
"We are one thing, spinning, looking for space and time"
"Even DNA contains sections that are obsolete"
"We need a map with a view to moving out of a primitive state, to create a concept of ourselves"
Genesis Breyer P-Orridge (born 1950, Manchester, England) is a musician, writer and artist. S/he lives and works in New York.
MARCUS DU SAUTOY MATHEMATICAL MAPS
"What the universe feels like in this game is like it does not have any boundaries"
"We believe that the universe is actually finite. But you are not expecting to actually hit a wall"
Marcus du Sautoy introduces us to Topology: this involves moulding geometrical maps into a basic, more informative format. An example of this is the London Tube Map where the topological map illustrates how the tube lines connect to one another. Topologies also suggest how we might solve mathematical problems through imaging - like when you have to connect several points on a page without taking your pen off the paper and without crossing over the same section more than once.
Du Sautoy suggests that the shape of the universe can be predicted using a much more complex variation of this method. For example, Perelman's solution to the Poincaré conjecture gives us some possible topological maps that render our 3-dimensional universe in 4 dimensions.
Marcus du Sautoy (born 1965, London, England) is a Professor of Mathematics and Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. He lives in London.
ADAM CHODZKO THE WRONG MAP. OR, HOW TO PASS YOURSELF RETURNING, OCEAN CURRENTS, AND MISSING FEET
"Having a map gives you the courage to act. It can be the wrong map, but having a plan gives you some kind of illusion of mastery"
"Not necessarily knowing what you are doing is important"
Adam Chodzko uses a wide variety of media to explore how people relate to others and their environment. An example of this can be seen in his piece Night Shift (2004), where the artist mapped Frieze Art Fair at night-time with the help of animals, namely: a wolf, a snake, a deer and a skunk. He then presented maps of the routes traced by these animals to visitors of the fair in order to ascertain if they would follow them.
Adam Chodzko (born 1965, London, UK) is an artist. He lives and works in Whitstable
DAVID ROWAN AND HAL BERTRAM WHEN DATA MEETS MAPS: HOW DATAVISUALISATION IS CHANGING THE WORLD
"In the whole of human civilisation up to about 2003 collectively we generated about 5 exabytes of data (5 billion GB), now we are generating that much in every two days" David Rowan
"The goal of it was to create an image of this structure that was there but we couldn't really perceive it in reality" Hal Bertram
David Rowan explains the generation of raw data into information through a process of visualisation. Some of the best examples given are of open source street maps, along with maps of European airports and public transport networks.
Rowan and Bertram also examine the relationship between informational imaging and recent environmental disasters, such as the effect that the volcanic eruptions in Iceland had on air traffic and CO2 emissions. Another example was seen following the recent earthquake in Haiti where OpenStreetMap became a crucial aide to search and rescue teams.
David Rowan is editor of WIRED magazine's UK edition. His geolocation coordinates are 51.508274, -0.139641 (that's central London).
Hal Bertram is a rendering consultant. He is the Technical Director of Ito World Ltd. He lives and works in London.
John Brockman is a cultural impresario whose career has encompassed the avant-garde art world, science, books, software, and the Internet.
Armand Leroi (born 16 July 1964 in Wellington, New Zealand) is an evolutionary developmental biologist at Imperial College in London.
Lewis Wolpert (born October 19, 1929) is a developmental biologist, author, and broadcaster.
MARINE HUGONNIER IN CONVERSATION WITH HANS ULRICH OBRIST
Marine Hugonnier (born 1969, Paris, France) is an artist. She lives and works in London.
KADER ATTLA ANARCHITECTURE OR DEMOCRATURE?
Kader Attia (born 1970, Dugny, France) is an artist. He lives and works in Berlin and Algiers.
JOOST GROOTENS MORE MATTER, WITH LESS ART
"I always start with the palette of the Swiss Society of Cartographers"
Joost Grootens is a graphic designer who works extensively with cartography. In his presentation, Grootens focuses on his methodology using examples such as his Metropolitan World Map, Vinex Atlas, Atlas Nieuwe and Hollandse Waterline. Grootens believes that a form of tension is created in mapping out locations. He reacts to this by combining convention and innovation in his design. Grootens manipulates colour by using specific inks to create unique palettes. This interest derives from his disapproval of the CMYK printing process adopted in the 1970s. Grootens concludes with his most recent projects, including the Dutch Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, and the accompanying atlas, The Dutch Atlas of Vacancy. He also discusses his new project comprising of 500 maps of the Palestine/Israel conflict.
Joost Grootens (born 1971, Breda, The Netherlands) is a graphic designer. He lives and works in Amsterdam.
C.E.B. REAS PROCESS COMPENDIUM 2004-2010
"Each process is exhibited as software but also with its related artifacts"
C.E.B. Reas is an artist based in Los Angeles, who uses custom software to create visual art. Reas introduces his working process using slides, text-based instructions and animation. Reas creates software for systems which exhibit specific behaviours. These systems are then subjected to various processes that are used to create visual environments. These processes differ depending on how the system is organised. Reas introduces his software and the way it functions, and describes the way he applies it to visual art. Process works are typically exhibited as a projected diptych with the process information included as a text panel on the side. These two-channel works show parallel views of the same system. Works are generally realised as moving image, installation, digital prints, reliefs, performances, etc.
C.E.B. Reas (born 1972, Troy, OH, USA) is an artist. He lives and works in Los Angeles.
DAVID ADJAYE AFRICAN METROPOLITAN ARCHITECTURE
"What is African architecture?"
"Africa has the fastest growing movement from countryside to the city"
David Adjaye is recognised as one of the leading architects of his generation. He has visited every capital city in Africa for his project, African Metropolitan Map. Adjaye's project began in 1999 as the result of his response to the growing urbanisation of Africa and the lack of discourse around the various states of urbanism on the continent. For a period of eleven years, Adjaye 'mapped' the capital cities of Africa through digital photography, culminating in more than 35,000 photographs. He then created an architectural archive. Adjaye identifies six phenomena - or six distinct areas that comprise Africa. These include: The Magreb, Desert, The Sahel, Forest, Savannah, Grassland, Mountains and Highveld. He investigates the terrain of these areas through architectural development there, noting that we are able to perceive specific architectural tendencies as the buildings adapt to the needs of their inhabitants and environment. Adjaye emphasises his research is not about a romantic geographic response.
David Adjaye (born 1966, Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania) is an architect. He lives and works in London and New York.
PANCHO GUEDES MY ISLANDS
Pancho Guedes (born 1925, Lisbon, Portugal) is an architect. He lives and works in Portugal.
AYREEN ANASTAS AND RENE GABRI LET ME MAKE AN EXAMPLE
In their workshop, Anastad and Gabri create a conceptual map of Palestine through the art of discussion. Anastad and Gabri introduce mapping as a dynamic, ongoing dialogue. To create the map, the artists ask the audience for words that they associate with Palestine. These words are then recorded on a paper scroll in the form of a mind map. Each word encourages the formation of new associative ideas. From 'education' and 'asymmetrical topologies' to 'anti-geography' and 'infiltration', Anastad and Gabri's map of Palestine becomes a polymorphic conceptual hub: a hive of ideas in a constant state of flux. It is through this cartographic mode that the artists open up wider ideas of border conflicts and oppression in the Palestinian area and ask the audience to respond to them.
Ayreen Anastas (born Bethlehem, Palestine) is an artist. She lives and works in New York.
Rene Gabri (born Tehran, Iran) is an artiist. He lives and works in New York.
ARTUR BARRIO SEM FIM.COM - SUB, 2008 - 2010 (L : S 12o53'06".1 G : W 38o 41' 39".0, DOCUMENTATION-REGISTRO IN SUBMARINE VIDEO)
Artur Barrio (born 1945, Porto, Portugal) is an artist. He lives and works in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil and Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal.
MICHAEL CRAIG-MARTIN MAPS AND THOUGHTS
Michael Craig-Martin (born 1941, Dublin, Ireland) is an artist. He lives and works in London.
"I felt like talking about two experiences of maps. They are juxtaposed, but create very similar feelings."
Amar Kanwar is an artist and film maker responding to conditions in contemporary India. He first describes a memory of his journey to the flood-planes of the river Kosi in northern India. "Imagine the experience of being in an open expanse of water so vast you cannot make out its boundaries." He describes the feeling of disorientation as he charted his coordinates against high points of land only to turn back and find these landmarks have disappeared. "I remember feeling reassured that I would identify them again...only half an hour later I looked back they had disappeared. The map had gone." Kanwar states, "I am interested in what that does to you...I feel like flagging this today".
He follows this anecdote with an extract from A Season Outside, a film shot over two days on the borders of India and Pakistan. "I have a compass which keeps spinning me into zones of conflict ... I just felt like sharing with you the lunacy of what a line on the ground can do".
Amar Kanwar (born 1964, New Delhi, India) is an artist and filmmaker. He lives and works in New Delhi.
SIMON FUJIWARA MAPPING THE FROZEN CITY
"A two thousand year old city has been excavated over the past five weeks...I'll be taking you on a tour."
"A lot of this city is based on speculation."
"Perhaps this was considered an art work and perhaps it was the artist's very last performance."
Simon Fujiwara takes the audience on a visual tour of a fictional archaeological excavation of 'The Frozen City', coincidentally mapped directly beneath this year's Frieze Art Fair in Regents Park. With slides showing cross sections, time lines, plans and photographic documentation of the excavated land, he gives a tongue-in-cheek presentation of his site-specific installation at Frieze. Fujiwara is the winner of this year's Cartier Award, a major initiative in collaboration with Gasworks and sponsored by Cartier.
Simon Fujiwara (born 1982, London, England) is an artist. He lives and works in Berlin and London.
PEDRO REYES PALA POR PISTOLAS, 2007-
"I am interested in how our perception of reality is influenced by the labels of a cultural map around it."
"The map of our social behaviour is the law."
"I became interested in how to bring about a cultural rejection of weapons ... first people need to acknowledge the scale of the problem."
Reyes presents the project Palas por Pistolas, a campaign to initiate the voluntary donation of weapons in Mexico. These donated weapons are subsequently destroyed and melted down into shovels. The shovels are then used for planting trees.
Reyes presents a white-board of statistics on stage to demonstrate the number of weapons coming into Mexico and concomitant deaths per year. Fifteen million weapons are currently in circulation. A website will be launched next year to map the trees planted globally as a result of the weapon drive. Reyes sums up the campaign with the simple statement: "We are taking away an agent of death to create an agent of life."
The project will evolve as one of the projects of Documenta 13, culminating at Kassel, Germany, in 2012. It was initiated by the artist in collaboration with the Botanical Gardens of Culiacan in Western Mexico.
Pedro Reyes (born 1972, Mexico City, Mexico) is an artist. He lives and works in Mexico City.
JULIETA ARANDA THE UN-MAPPABLE: BREADCRUMB TRAILS
Julieta Aranda (born in Mexico City), currently lives and works between New York and Berlin.
ORAIB TOUKAN TALKING HEADS AND/OR OTHER MATTERS
Oraib Toukan (1977, Boston, MA, USA) is an artist. She is based in New York and Amman.
"Around the edges of maps things happen"
In her presentation, Hiller examines her interest in medieval maps. She presents a map from Hereford Cathedral and examines the representation of Christianity. She explores how this religious map can also represent another world - the "dream world". Hiller also explains a 1972 project. Here, six volunteers were asked to record their dreams for a month and then sleep for the last days of the project in a "fairy circle". The volunteers were then asked to create a united "dream map". The results were indicative of a collective-consciousness between the participants. Ultimately, Hiller encourages us to think of a map as an aid in order to depict "the places one occupies". Hiller suggests that this is true both in reality and in a dream-state of consciousness.
Susan Hiller (born 1940, Tallahassee, FL, USA) is an artist. She lives and works in London.
CELINE CONDORELLI "IL N'YA A PLUS REIN" (THERE IS NOTHING LEFT")
"The Orient was only something one rediscovered"
Condorelli is a London based artist who works both with art and architecture. In her presentation, she discusses a wide array of text from Melville to George Perec on the idea of how a city is navigated as well as how it functions as a whole. Condorelli displays a split screen slide projection. On the left side, she displays romantic black and white images of the coast. On the right, she presents grainy images of cotton workers and looms functioning. Over these slides, Condorelli describes the history of Alexandria through the rise and fall of its rich cotton industry. She intercepts this with writings by Timothy Mitchell in his book Colonising Eqypt. She then presents a reading from Invisible Cities written by Georger Perec.
Céline Condorelli (born 1974) works with art and architecture. She lives and works in London.
JOHN AKOMFRAH MNEMOSYNE
"Every day is a journey and the journey itself is home"
"All archives have a version of memory...a picture of legitimacy"
Akomfah explores documentary film as a tool to map society. His most recent film Mnemosyne is the result of a sixth month project supported by the Arts Council England and the BBC. Mnemosyne is the Greek goddess of memory, who after having slept with Zeus for nine nights gave birth to nine muses. The film itself juxtaposes images of lonesome modern- day figures in bleak, snowy landscapes with photographs of black migrant workers in post-war Birmingham. These images are accompanied by the sounds of onerous factory machinery and various narrative voices. The film highlights how memories are simply subjective maps bound to specific times and places. For Akomfah, re-visiting Birmingham's archives is not a question of refuting established narratives, but instead encourages reading between the lines and imagining 'what might have been.'
John Akomfrah (born 1957, Accra, Ghana) is a filmmaker and artist. He lives and works in London.
GOLDIN+SENNEBY HEADLESS: HANS ULRICH OBRIST INTERVIEWS ANGUS CAMERON (SPOKESPERSON FOR GOLDIN+SENNETY)
"All economies are imaginary".
"Headless is everything and nothing"
Goldin + Senneby's talk occurs without the participants. Their agent Angus Cameron represents them instead. He is an academic; a social scientist. During the discussion of their business model, it becomes apparent that all parties are only a facet of Headless Ltd.: an offshore company, secret society, research project and economic space. Hans Ulrich exposes Headless Ltd as a fictional venture. This discussion reveals some of the company's secrets and we discover that most of the members of Headless Ltd are not aware of their own involvement.
Dr. Angus Cameron (born 1965, Chester) is a Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Leicester and the spokesperson for artists Goldin+Senneby. He lives and works in Leicestershire.
"I was sitting in the balcony for 2 days looking at the audience beneath and it appeared to me that it was a map, an audience map"
"Mapping is mainly a matter of security and space controlling"
Marwan Rechmaoui bases his art on Beirut and its social history. He is interested in the political connotations of cartographical representation. Rechmaoui presents a fragmented map of Beirut which he has segmented into 60 black rubber pieces. Each piece is an accurate representation of the individual neighbourhoods in the City. By reconstructing this puzzle, Rechmaoui highlights the divisions, causes and consequences of social and cultural differences throughout Lebanese history
Marwan Rechmaoui (born 1964, Beirut, Lebanon) is an artist. He lives and works in Beirut.
CLAIRE HOOPER THE GENEALOGY OF NYX
"In sleep one is dead to the world".
"Night and her husband Darkness are a territory one breaches at one's peril"
Claire Hooper is an artist who works in London and Berlin. Her latest work is the film Nyx, which charts the space between sleep, death and forgetfulness. The film charts the journey of a youthful inebriated protagonist asleep on a train as he travels from the South-East of Berlin to the North-West, into the realm of the Goddess of the Night, Nyx. Hooper is interested in the classical and supernatural spaces of the night represented in mythologies. She views these narratives as a means to navigate the space of the night. Where Gaia is an all-encompassing ordinance survey, Nyx is akin to a map of the underground; a distorted map linking the points of familiarity together, or as Hooper puts it, "Nyx is a map of getting there".
Claire Hooper (born 1978, London, England) is an artist. She lives and works in London and Berlin.
KATIE PATERSON STREETLIGHT STORM
"Katie Paterson's art practice is a crossing work with emphasis on nature and with a particular interest in geology and cosmology" Hans Ulrich Obrist, 2010
Katie Paterson's performance is organised in two parts. During the first part, Paterson discusses a selection of her pieces based on the natural world. Paterson discusses her Icelandic Glacier project where she put a microphone in a glacier and connected it to a phone line. During this project, Paterson encouraged people to call and listen in to the sounds made by the glacier. Paterson's recent light installation in Kent is also discussed. The lights flickered in time with lightning strikes taking place in different parts of the world. The second part of her participation is a performance. She uses the auditorium's lighting system to produce a "light concert" in order to mirror the lightning storms happening across the world.
Katie Paterson (born 1981, Glasgow, Scotland) is an artist. She lives and works in Berlin.
Dimitar Sasselov (born 1961, Bulgaria) is Professor of Astronomy at Harvard University and director of the Harvard Origins of Life Initiative. He lives and works in Cambridge, MA.
MATTHEW SAWYER VENN DIAGRAM FOR THE WORLD
Mathew Sawyer (born 1977, Hammersmith, UK) is an artist and musician. His band's name is Mathew Sawyer and the Ghosts. He lives and works in London.
ADRIAN VILLAR ROJAS SONGS DURING THE WAR
Adrian Viller Rojas' project "Songs during the War" consists of three parts: a publication, a small acoustic show and a website. Exploring how consciousness orientates itself in the chaos of the universe. All three parts are necessary to understand the landscape of the project. The publication is a poster of non-linear text in which the reader struggles to orientate themselves. Without the other consistent parts of the project it is meaningless.
Adrián Villar Rojas (born 1980, Rosario, Argentina) is an artist. He lives and works between Rosario and Buenos Aires.
Map Marathon Programme
Saturday 16 October 2010
Hans Ulrich Obrist
Richard Hamilton and Eyal Weizman
Tim Robinson/Folding Landscapes
Janice Kerbel with Colin Stinton
Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa in conversation with Dr. Stephanie Lawler
Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian
Gilbert & George
Tania Kovats (read by Amal Khalaf and Lorraine Two)
Nathanael Dorent and Claude Parent
Timothy Taylor/Krysztina Tautendorfer
Cerith Wyn Evans
Genesis Breyer P-orridge
Sunday 17 October 2010