(edited by) Patricio Dávila – Diagrams of Power: Visualizing, Mapping, and Performing Resistance


Onomatopee, ISBN-13: 978-9493148031, English, 308 pages, 2018, The Netherlands

The historically normative power of maps and diagrams is examined with increasing frequency. This has occurred on one hand with the democratisation of GIS tools through software, and on the other hand through the centralisation of geographical big data in a handful of huge corporations. The need for a counter-narrative and effective applications has been increasingly felt. Diagrams of Power provides a valuable anthology, elucidating strategies and tools. It is another excellent example of an ‘exploded catalogue’, where the previous art exhibition is just the starting point of a whole cultural process crystallised in a properly edited publication. The list of contributors (artists, designers, geographers, cartographers and activists) looks like a small information guerrilla army: Burak Arikan, Bureau d’Études, Forensic Architecture, Visualizing Impact, Department of Unusual Certainties, Iconoclasistas and many others. They singularly illustrate different attitudes and cases from around the globe, sharing the tactics used to stand up for a cause. Dialogues, essays and interviews are provided, outlining what would be too reductive to be called a ‘scene’, but rather a transversal cultural movement, reconciling dissimilar aesthetics in an aggregated critical visual action.