map critique -mert halit izcan
Christian Nold as an artist, activist and educator inspired me in my own map through his political stance. He created the diagram of his stance in his community. When you look at the map you can see there is the duality of official fantasy and political activism in conflict with each other. Official (similar to Althusser’s ideological apparatus) takes the individuals as consumers and the crowd for them is consumer crowd which is as in Benjamin suggests a fantasy? There is a Democratic crowd which is part of the political system like voting and other duties but not really active. Nold differentiates the active participants in the system as actors and as a visible crowd who wants to be involved in the city. And he sees artists and activists like himself as a faciliator of new collective imaginations that will restore the agency and empowerment. He creates participatory projects with communities to show the political and social configurations of the communities through using technologies. Nold as a scholar criticizes authoritative use of technology by governments and his view of technology is as in between “authoritarian control tool” to “anarchic mischief tool”. I learned about his project through the map suggestions of Shannon: “biomapping” project. It was also very interesting project as Nold adapted polygraph into being a tool for recording sensory data ( Galvanize Skin Response). In that project initial trials recorded momentary sensations, but later as Nold used it with communities that recorded stories. Either biomapping project or the one I am especially focusing on “sensorial journeys” are using GIS in a very subjective mapping which was called by Stephen Boyd Davis as close to the feminist geographers (Emotional Cartography booklet) . According to Nold’s narration this technology GSR was asked to be used for commercial purposes but Nold focuses on more collective political reasons. In “Sensorial Journeys” project Nold does not use that kind of high tech device , but prints out paper maps from GIS and gives them to children to express their feelings in different modes of transportation while coming to school. In this project, Nold and his collaborators conducted workshops in four school in Bristol. The result of the project is shared with the local authorities to make some changes in the community. This project is also important in a way that a child who normally is not considered as political individuals finds a voice in the drawings which are layered onto the GIS map. I have to admit maps look better in their pdf form as zooming in and out does not make new information but it works in one layer. One other thing as the map has the collective reflection of the children but we don’t have the chance to hear the individual stories.
My application and other technological will be posted as a process blog.