Andrea’s Final Assessment

The metaphor of the edge has haunted this project since its inception, but now that the edge of the semester is here, it’s time to perform some final assessments.

I believe map critiques played a major role in the shaping of our own maps: students are extra careful in their explanation of data and description of maps. While I originally opposed the “barrage of data” usually encountered upon opening a map, I think that it works for URT. Simultaneous-data visibility seems to be a crude form of infrastructure mapping (much like what Jeanne Haffner outlines in “Things Visible and Invisible”) wherein the map is the medium through which the infrastructure/data is expressed. Looking at the “first page” of my map, I reflect on the data that I visualized and the data that I set aside “for another time.” After selecting a topic, most of the semester was spent narrowing the topic down, researching this topic (still many topics), and further narrowing it down. The research process is integral to the map itself, despite most of the process remaining invisible in the end product. After researching, it was time to assemble/disassemble the research and turn it into mappable data. I’d say this, next to the actual research, was the most time consuming.

There were similarities between all of our maps, explicit or less so, but the most striking similarity is the final structure of the map: that it depicts an argument(s) over and through time (like Johanna Drucker’s Temporal Modeling?). The overall class map (or the trend of the class map), if there really is one, is an homage or document to the chronology of space, or the evolution of a space over time. Is it possible to escape time when mapping in the first place?


1 Comment

  • Beautiful, Andrea. I appreciate that you expanded your scope of vision to encompass not only your own project, but also the collective development of the class.

    You’re certainly not the only person who appreciates that “The research process is integral to the map itself, despite most of the process remaining invisible in the end product.” This is in part why we write these blog posts — so all the “invisible labor,” the scraps on the cutting-room floor, are granted some acknowledgment.