Nato Thompson and Independent Curators International – Experimental Geography: Radical Approaches to Landscape, Cartography, and Urbanism


Melville House, ISBN 978-0091636586, USA, 2008, English
The representation of space, the reclaiming of space and the recoding of space through a collective negotiation of coordinates and facts are a few of the issues that “geography” at large has posed after our spatial perceptions have been enormously amplified by the internet. A full set of new “visions” generated through the access to networked data and its various representations has pervaded our visual culture. That’s probably why the conference associated with this exhibition’s catalogue was titled “An Aesthetic Investigation of Space.” Space, more and more perceived as limited in reality, and, even more, perceived as unlimited in virtuality, is then formalized, mapped, expressed through universal conventions, habits, and, most important, it’s shared. The motionlessness of space is reinterpreted through paths of meanings that can be drawn through either usual or abandoned places. These paths are thought-provoking and engage the reader’s mind to figure out his personal view of space, both real and abstract. If cartography and mapping practices have collected the majority of artists-acolytes, the connection of a specific place with a fact (like locating a secret prison) affects our general awareness of our neighbourhood. It has to be taken into account that representation of this kind of artwork in a book is a problem due to the book having just two dimensions. But these artworks can potentially go beyond their printed documentation, deeply affecting the collective imaginary and the awareness of human beings in relation to what surrounds them.