Nov-Dec, 2005–Here be Dragons: Cartography of Globalization

Here Be Dragons: Cartography of Globalization

An Exhibition initiated by Toronto School of Creativity & Inquiry   12 Nov. – 17 Dec. 2005
Opening reception: Sat. 12 Nov., 8-10pm
Toronto Free Gallery
660 Queen St. East
Toronto, ON
416-913-0461
Centuries ago, map-makers wrote the phrase ‘here be dragons’ on areas that were outside of their known world. Where should this phrase be written on contemporary maps of political and economic territory?


Recently, activists, artists, and researchers have used the form of the map to visually represent the distribution of power, the circulation of information, and the organization of control in the age of capitalist globalization. These critical cartographers make visible the vast networks of national governments, transnational corporations, and international institutions which channel massive flows of people, labour, interests, dollars, and meaning. Making the complexities of our present more graspable, counter-cartography furnishes us with pedagogical tools for cognitively navigating the class-divided, politically administered, and digitally mediated world we live in.

But the point of these maps isn’t to say: ‘Look how trapped we are.’ These networks are contested, and vulnerable. And there exist counter-networks, on whose nodes a multitude of protagonists are searching for and inventing emergency exits. Maps of these powers ‘from
below’ give expression to creative resistances and workable alternatives. These are a different type of dragon.

Believing that counter-cartography is a political provocation, the Toronto School of Creativity & Inquiry is initiating a series of participatory events during the mapping show as forums for the
discussion of questions raised by these critical cartographers. Where are the dragons today? How might we navigate a course within, against, and beyond the enclosures of the known world?

The exhibition features maps, texts, audio, and video by Pierre Bélanger (Toronto), Adrian Blackwell (Toronto), Bureau d’études (Paris), Govcom.org (Amsterdam), Brian Holmes (Paris), Polaris Institute (Ottawa), and Kika Thorne (Victoria). Richard J.F. Day (Kingston) occupies the 24-hour Gallery.

Contact heather(at)torontofreegallery.org torontoschool(at)sympatico.ca

October 7, 2005: 3Cs Planning Meeting

Saunders 2nd Floor at 6pm

This is the agenda it was sent before:

(details below)

1) Drifting

2) Spacing Movements and New Cartographies

3) Alternative Community Economies

4) Artist and Community Movements

5) Webpages

 


1) DRIFTING: At our last meeting, we had a very lively discussion of the meaning, practices, and politics of situationist ‘drifting’ (‘derive’) and its incorporation into the work of Brian Holmes, 16Beaver, and the ‘Continental Drift seminar’ currently underway in NYC. We agreed at the meeting that those who wished to would draft paragraph(s)/pages on aspects of our discussion to compile a summary of our understanding of drifting and our discussion of its forms, practices, and possible uses (and limitations).  I will compile what I have received by Thursday for Friday morning distribution. If you haven’t yet and want to, please send along a paragraph or two.

Goals: Working paper on the methods of drifting and its assessment in the context of a re-reading of Debord and the feminist re-readings by the precarias.

2) SPACING MOVEMENTS and NEW CARTOGRAPHIES: I am currently working on possible webpages for our group and for the broader Cultures of Economies Group. In collating materials, I realized that we have not circulated the ‘Spacing Movements’ readings that initiated some of the discussions that led to this formation of this group. In looking back over them, they seem interesting and worthwhile sharing with new members (they are attached). They might explain a little of the background to topics such as ‘mapping the university’ and what is intended by this.

In preparing the research proposal for our group, we decided on a variety of ways of cutting-into our topic. We have started the semester with some issues of ‘new cartographies’. This phrase derives from Deleuze’s description of one of the major contributions of Foucault — ‘the new cartographer’, and captures something of the Foucauldian-Deleuzian efforts to move beyond representational epistemologies and humanisms of various kinds. This is, in part, the project of several of the groups we have been discussing and is reflected in the readings for the 16Beaver Continental Drift Seminar.  I have attached again the Lazzarato essay on biopolitics, which earlier we had thought of returning to in more detail, and which I think remains useful for our discussions.

Goals: Working group plan for concrete projects on mapping the university.

(a) Labor Day Initiative: Report-back.

(b) Specific project (see, for example, a map of the multiple connections of Bowling Green state university to the biotech industry:

http://www.cyberfeminism.net/biopower/bp_map.html  and “Recomposing the

University” by Tizziana Terranova and Marc Bousquet

http://www.metamute.com/look/article.tpl?IdLanguage=1&IdPublication=1&NrIssue=28&NrSection=10&NrArticle=1403).

3) ALTERNATIVE COMMUNITY ECONOMIES: Another cut into our topic was that of the diverse or alternative economies debates and movements. Several of you have been deeply involved in these literatures and activities. Bring along suggestions that will frame our subsequent two meetings and, like the ‘mappings’ discussions will stimulate and frame activities around these issues over the next few months.

4) ARTIST- AND COMMUNITY-MOVEMENTS: In both the ‘new cartographies’ and the ‘alternative community economies’ projects the role of artist- and community-movements has been central to our thinking. In late semester we have events planned around elin slavick’s work. I would enjoy discussing ideas for pushing this aspect of our work further, if only by way of preparing for the spring semester. The Fall is already fairly busy: besides these group issues the Cultures of Economies Group is beginning its reading of Jason Read’s The Microppolitics of Capital October 10 at pm, Steve Wylie and Larry Grossberg will be discussing spatial materialism in mid-October, Derek Gregory comes in late October, Randy Martin (Public Culture) is in early November.

5) WEBPAGES: I would like to prepare webpages for each project, if only to give us a single site to which we can go to find out what is going on when and what is being read and produced. I have spent the last two hours playing with images and sticking together some draft pages. They are attached. Can we spend 10 minutes on Friday discussing (a) whether this approach to representing our work and organizing activities is worthwhile, (b) if so, what suggestions you have for design and content, and (c) recommendations for additional information? This is a little mundane, but I have to do something with my evenings!

 

September 19, 2005: Meeting on Drifting

3Cs Meeting on the Situationists and Drifting.  For readings see below.

 

 


Readings:

Debord’s Theory of the Dérive

http://library.nothingness.org/articles/SI/en/display/314

http://library.nothingness.org/articles/SI/

Psychogeography: a definition:

http://www.monoculartimes.co.uk/city-tours/psychogeography/workingdefinition.shtml

Psychogeography and the Dérive:

http://www.geog.leeds.ac.uk/people/a.evans/psychogeog.html

http://www.psychogeography.org.uk/

Dada maps:

http://faculty.washington.edu/dillon/rhethtml/dadamaps/dadamaps2b.html