1 May 2021
Accepted until: May 1, 2021
As interpretations, maps reveal as much about the people who created them as they do about the things they detail. That power of naming, translating, and marking can be wielded for all kinds of reasons, functions, intentions. This issue asks: What counts as a map? What do maps do? How can we challenge our assumptions of what they’re for and how they operate? How have maps been used to colonize, divide, and commodify, and how are they being used to unravel such empires? How are artists involved in counter-cartography? As Potawatomi cartographer and writer Margaret Pearce recently said: “there are no base maps”—referring to images commonly used as the first layer of a given cartographic project, suggesting that nothing can be taken as a given. How do maps index (or fail to) the passage of time—changes of seasons, inhabitants, ownership, use? How do maps cultivate space for spontaneity, play, and ephemerality? How are maps used to tell stories, and how are stories used to make maps? How can we see the map from its inside? How do maps chart experience, public opinions, emotions, memories, silence? What does it mean to map ethically? What role does listening have? How can maps speak for those who can’t speak for themselves? How do we learn and glean inspiration from the unique navigational technologies honed by other-than-humans? How do maps help us situate ourselves as part of natural systems and reflect on our places therein? How do those systems resist, evade, or confound the cartographic impulse and what might that suggest about the limits of the scientific project? What’s the contemporary map-maker’s obligation to clarity, legibility, accessibility? How is mapping a tool for witnessing, wanting, world-building?
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