AbstractsGeography &GIS

You are Here. And Elsewhere: an atlas of elsewheres.

by Amy Dunlop

Institution: University of New South Wales
Department: Art
Year: 2014
Record ID: 1037029
Full text PDF: http://handle.unsw.edu.au/1959.4/53846


My research project utilises the trope of an atlas, comprising of maps (the studio component) and the accompanying information (the exegesis). The research comprises a kind of cultural geography, and so the appropriation of the atlas format lends itself to the exploration of theoretical concerns surrounding the meanings of place and human experience in the twenty-first century. The creation of a global platform, through the key forces of internet-based digital media and instantaneous data sharing, is reshaping our engagement with the space of the world. The impact of this is felt in the erosion of cultural attachment to place and the transformation of social interactions. Ways of understanding and engaging with the globalised world are experiencing two key types of transformation: deterritorialisation and decorporealisation. No longer rooted in the territorial homes of the past, our societies and cultures, (including social interaction) are decorporealised through technology that enables them to communicate on a global platform. Using these notions as the point of departure for the research project, I have established two hypothetical locations - Here and Elsewhere. These locales comprise the site of conceptual exploration undertaken for this research. The abstract territory of these places is mapped out by concerns surrounding the effects of deterritorial and decorporeal forces on the individual; on society and social connections; on place, space and experience. Established in the cultural landscape, the explication of the geography, society and culture of these hypothetical locations is used as the means to explore the conceptual themes central to this research project. More than merely mapping and representing, this project is one of exploring. New meridians are drawn, resulting in the formation of a new topography. The existing but ever-changing world we know is rearticulated to visualise a cultural narrative the individual’s passage through the spaces and places of the twenty-first century globalised world: an allegory of maps and territories, of simulated and fabricated realities.