Wednesday, 30 June 2010
The exhibition exhibits the power and propaganda that maps have exercised since around the 1500s. However, the medieval maps interested me most.
They give us a way in to the medieval mind. Their maps merge seamlessly the geographical world, of which their knowledge is limited, and the spiritual world. Anything beyond their physical knowledge they populate with mythical beasts and imagery of fear and desire. I am reminded of the saying about Gods: before Man climbed the mountains he thought the Gods lived on the mountains; once Man had climbed the mountains, he believed that the Gods lived in the clouds; once Man had flown above the clouds, he believed that the Gods must live beyond the earth's atmosphere... now that Man has reached into Space, the Gods exist in another dimension from ours...
The medieval mind does not see a distinction between the spiritual and the geographical located. Their maps are spiritual maps, maps of belief. Their maps attempt to record the history of the world (their world, as they see it) by locating things within it: the centre of the map is Jerusalem, so the whole world revolves around a religious and spiritual core. The world is mapped out as if it is made up of the body of Christ, his head appearing at the top, his hands outstretched at the left and right extremities of the map, as if crucified, his feet at the bottom. It reminds me of the old Norse legends, how the mountains and forests are actually the muscles and hair of a giant, which gives you a strong feeling of the Earth as a living organism beneath our feet. The medieval maps suggest that the world is the embodiment of their spiritual beliefs and as we walk upon it and move from one location to the next we are exploring and making contact with those beliefs.
It makes me think of the power of the journey of a pilgrim to a holy place. How these maps could have influenced the idea of a journey of devotion. How inextricably linked physical journeys are to the journeys that are our lives.
Click this link to see details of one of the medieval maps at the British Library: Psalter World Map, c.1265
Thursday, 24 June 2010
Photograph by Andrew Rushton
1. a pattern or system that looks like a series of branching or interconnecting lines
2. a large and widely distributed group of people or things such as shops, colleges, or churches, that communicate with one another and work together as a unit or system
3. net or netting
4. vi to build up or maintain informal relationships, especially with people whose friendship could bring advantages such as job or business opportunities
1. a place along a train or bus route where passengers are picked up or set down, often with amenities such as ticket offices, waiting rooms, refreshments, toilets, and facilities for goods and parcels
2. the place or position where somebody or something is usually to be found or is supposed to be found
3. a position where somebody performs a task, for example, in a factory, or the equipment used in performing a task
4. a fixed point used by surveyors as a reference
1. the place to which somebody or something is going or must go
2. a purpose for which somebody or something is intended
1. vi to go on a journey to a particular place, usually using some form of transportation
6. vi to move swiftly (informal)
9. vi to be transmitted or communicated
10. vi to scan an object or scene in the process of observing or filming it
11. vi to move in a fixed path while operating (refers to a machine part)
12. vi to associate with a particular person or group
1. a raised level area of flooring for speakers, performers, or participants in a ceremony, making them easily visible to the audience
2. a position of authority or prominence that provides a good opportunity for doing something
3. a computer operating system, often along with the associated equipment
1. to step down from a vehicle onto the ground or a platform
2. to happen to find, spot, or come to rest on something
MILES AND DACOMBE, MARCH 2009
1. traveling to discover what a place is like or where it is
2. an investigation or the study of something such as data, or the consideration and testing of something such as possible courses of action
1. vti to display something, especially a work of art, in a public place such as a museum or gallery (shop / station platform, waiting room)
2. vt to show something off for others to look at or admire
3. vt to show the outward signs of something, especially an emotion or a physical or mental condition
Tuesday, 22 June 2010
Looking back you can see the development of ongoing ideas from our first project now resonating in this new project, Undiscovered Networks. This is one of the collages we made in 2009:
Each of the places on our undiscovered network could be seen as a nexus, a connection but also a point of focus.
By linking the places together, do we create a new community?
Will we be able to create "soft ties" between Corby and our chosen 12 places?
Friday, 18 June 2010
Thursday, 17 June 2010
"Maps can be works of art, propaganda pieces, expressions of local pride, and tools of indoctrination... Magnificent Maps brings together some of the most impressive wall maps ever created, many of which have never been exhibited before, and will demonstrate why maps are about far more than simply geography."
Thursday, 10 June 2010
Wednesday, 9 June 2010
But they are selective. They only show connections from one viewpoint. They simplify reality in order to make a coherent network. A map only shows one version of reality.
If we were to map connections between our twelve places, how would we select what to acknowledge and what to leave out?
Wednesday, 2 June 2010
"Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer."
"Railway termini... are our gates to the glorious and the unknown. Through them we pass out into adventure and sunshine, to them, alas! we return."
E M Forster, Howards End, 1910
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller
″A traveler without observation is a bird without wings.” – Moslih Eddin Saadi
“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard