art and maps

“Where We’re From”

TerrorDome custom creates images of people cut out from maps mounted inside a wood shadow box. What I love about the idea is that every person is cut out from a map from the place where they spent their childhood, and the exact location will always feature just above the heart of each figure. They can be ordered through Folksy, the UK based art and craft community similar to Etsy. This reminds me of other memory maps of childhood places, Sara Fanellis My Map Book, and especially of Margaret Mackey’s inspiring work on Space, Time and Literacy, as presented on UKLA conference 2010 and 2011, where she mapped out her childhood experiences tying physical places and texts. This is from her abstract:

The concept of literacy is often represented iconically in a schematic drawing of a head, a book, and perhaps a pair of hands. But literacy is always grounded, located in a particular place and time. At the same time, our literate behaviours are suspended in a network of multiple texts and other readers. Our interpretive lives are plural; the texts that we read, watch, hear, play, create, and exchange impinge on each other; we do not interpret a single text in cognitive and affective isolation from all the others that we encounter. Often we are also affected by other interpreters of the same material.

Where are we when we engage with a fiction? We enter an imaginary, interior world – a cognitive achievement we still do not fully understand. Actively or passively, we gain membership of a community, virtual and actual, of other interpreters of this text. At the same time, we remain “earthed” in the daily lives of our own senses, our own two hands and feet, our own political position and awareness. All of these factors are woven into the ultimate achievement of interpretive understanding. This presentation will offer a rich and complex two-part picture of situated literacies: a 360° portrait of a single literate child, and a broader look at the mental and physical spaces that affect contemporary literacies.

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