18 February 2008

Atlas of Radical Cartography

Mapping Ghosts ~ Rendition Fights, 2001-2006
© Trevor Paglen & John Emerson

Some time ago I posted on a Los Angeles based artist Lize Mogel who'd collaborated on a terrific data map that documented the costs and distribution of mercenaries (euphemistically known as 'private security contractors'). Mogel has pursued a related collaborative project, co-edited with Alexis Bhagat, entitled An Atlas of Radical Cartography (Aesthetics & Protest Press). The book, just out, "pairs artists, architects, designers, and collectives with writers to explore the map’s role as political agent. These (10) ten mapping projects and critical essays take on social and political issues from globalization to garbage." I look forward to getting a copy of the book and maps. It seems to me that this sort of project can provide invaluable resources for helping people visualize large-scale processes that often, by design or otherwise, go undetected.

Interestingly, the Atlas is not just a book, but also an exhibition and it will be making a stop nearby. Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, not Rochester, but in what seems like an interesting new performance space called Redhouse Arts Center in Syracuse. The exhibition is up now and will show through March 12th. There will be an artists's reception this Thursday (21 February, 5-8 pm) and a Round-table Discussion this Friday (22 February, 6-8 pm); the scheduled participants in the latter are Alexis Bhagat, Lize Mogel, Daniel Tucker, Nadxi Mannello, Jonnell Allen.

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