New Media 2014 Week 5

Tuesday: Photoshop

I want to spend sometime in class today working in Photoshop. I have two exercises to work on. The first will work with a few images, practicing cropping, filtering, textual overlay, and perhaps a few other tools. I will also talk about these images via Devoss and Platt’s “Image Manipulation and Ethics in a Digital World” article. This should take about 30 minutes of today’s class.  

The second exercise, which will take 45 minutes, hinges on the use of Motivational and Demotivational posters. 

Thursday: Academic, Psycho, Critical, and Personal Geography. 

In today’s class I want to talk about geography as you begin to articulate a response to the second project prompt: “make me a map that isn’t a map.” 

We’ll begin with a “quiz” assignment. 

I also want to share a simple heuristic that can be helpful when trying to work your way through a theoretical argument like Crampton and Krygier’s:

  1. What do they see as the problem?
  2. Who don’t they want to be?
  3. What are the key terms / thinkers / traditions they align themselves with?
  4. What are their favorite examples?
  5. What do they hope to accomplish?

Below are some of my reading notes while prepping for today’s class:

Crampton and Krygier. 2006. “An Introduction to Critical Cartography.”

*Make me a map that isn’t an (academic) map.*

*Question I have–is geography ready to transform from a discipline that makes maps to a discipline that teaches and evaluates public-map making?*


All geographic knowledge is caught up in power (I think Nietzsche, they think Foucault). How is map-making caught up in power? (See Berry’s discussion of Amerigo Vespucci, 5). 

Technology makes it possible for everyday people to make maps. Later: “Indeed, it is rare to find references to the cartographic literature in these new developments” (19).

“If the map is a specific set of power-knowledge claims, then not only the state but others could make competing and equally powerful claims.”

What is Critique?

“A critique is not a project of finding fault, but an examination of the assumptions of a field of knowledge. Its purpose is to understand and suggest alternatives to the categories of knowledge that we use.”

They connect themselves to Foucault and the Frankfurt tradition. They ultimately find the root of critique in Kant (conditions of disciplinarity/discourse). 

*Essentially, maps tell us where to go., they being to impose “soft” limits on what we think is possible.* They avoid the term ideological. 

Expanding “what is a map”

Harley and Woodward adopted a new definition of the map in order to include examples of maps that did not fit with textbook cartography: “maps are graphic representations that facilitate a spatial understanding of things, concepts, conditions, processes, or events in the human world” (Harley and Woodward 1987: xvi). 

Example: “such as the famous 1929 surrealist map of the world, reproduced in Pinder” (1996, 2005).

“Writing in an important book on humanist geography, Wood argued that unlike contemporary academic cartography, a cartography of reality must be humane, humanist, phenomenological…It must reject as inhumanly narrow both the data base and subject matter of contemporary academic cartography” (Wood 1978: 207)” (22).

They conclude offering 4 different potential genres for critical cartography:

  1. map artists
  2. everyday mapping
  3. maps as resistance
  4. map hacking

“Map artists … claim the power of the map to achieve ends other than the social reproduction of the status quo. Map artists do not reject maps. They reject the authority claimed by normative maps uniquely to portray reality as it is, that is, with dispassion and objectivity” (Wood 2006b: p.10.)” (25)

*How do you make a passionate, subjective map?*

“Everyday mappings, whether performative (Krygier 2006), ludic (Perkins 2006), indigenous (Lewis 2006), affective and experiential (Cieri 2003, 2006) or narrative (Pearce 2006), creatively illuminate the role of space in people’s lives by countering generalized and global perspectives. A recent cartography text (Krygier and Wood 2005) implicitly integrates critical cartography, ideas from the arts and everyday mappings, and is designed with a populist intent.” 

Maps as resistance, counter-mappings and participatory GIS, take up maps and politics in an explicit manner to provide alternative mappings of space not represented by official state agencies (Sparke 1995; Cobarrubias et al. 2006). Map hacking provides a whole series of inexpensive or open source capabilities that combine spatialized knowledges in ever new ways (kanarinka 2006a, 2006b). As we stated above, it is not the technology that is important, but how it is used, and with what effects. 

Map hacking provides a whole series of inexpensive or open source 
capabilities that combine spatialized knowledges in ever new ways (kanarinka 
2006a, 2006b). As we stated above, it is not the technology that is important, but 
how it is used, and with what effects. Personal Geographies

“Maps make known our relationship to the world” (4). Berry provides a couple of heuristics (pg. 7).  Thought: *What if you used a board game as a heuristic for making a map?*

Parts of a map–how many of these can you use? Thinking about scale in particular. 

*Think of how Berry’s mapping the self differs from Debord’s “pscyhogeography” (19).*

*Could you, via Ulmer, think of mapping the abject?*

*Could you, via Kalman, think of mapping delight?*

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