Daniel de Zeeuw

Report: Map Fest evening 1

July 6, 2010. Mapping for Change at Mediamatic Bank

Map Fest kicked off with an evening on Mapping for Change. Speakers were Malkit Shoshan, Annelys de Vet, Christian Nold and Wietske Maas. The host of the evening was independent curator Nat Muller. Daniel de Zeeuw was present, and scribbled down some thoughts.

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Het publiek luistert naar Malkit Shoshan tijdens dag 1 van Map Fest. - Presentation by Malkit Shoshan during the first night of Map Fest 2010, 'Mapping for Change'. Malkit talked about the Atlas of the Conflict Israel - Palestine, a publication in which she maps the processes and mechanisms behind the rise of the Israeli state over the past 100 years. Map Fest took place on July 6, 8 and 9 at Mediamatic Bank. 6, 7 en 9 juli 2010: Andreas Conradi

Mapping for Change

The subject of the first evening of Map Fest was baptized “Mapping for Change”. 'The word 'change' doesn't just mean the replacing of one thing with another, but is also always loaded with political connotations, not only after Obama's PR staff made it its campaign slogan. Both meanings of the term 'change' (the aesthetic and the political) were in the center of the Mapping for Change lectures.

Malkit Shoshan

Israelian architect Malkit Shoshan, director of FAST, the “Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory”, talked about the “Atlas of the conflict Israel-Palestine”. This 'atlas' maps the spatial movements in Israel/Palestine throughout the 20th century. These objective spatial movements are signifiers of political movements. But whereas the political decision making process is rather intelligible, covered by mass media, that what precedes it isn't so clearly 'represented'. The Atlas is a way of focusing on the latter: its real decisiveness in distributing social (in)equality.

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Malkit Shoshan presents at Map Fest 2010, July 6 - Malkit Shoshan was one of the speakers at Mapping for Change, which took place during Map Fest 2010. Map Fest took place on July 6, 8 and 9 at Mediamatic Bank. Malkit Shoshan is an Israeli architect and the director of the Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory. Mapping for Change took place on July 6th 2010, at Mediamatic Bank. Malkit Shoshan is an Israeli architect based in The Netherlands. Since 2004 she has been the director of the Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory. Andreas Conradi

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Audience at Map Fest 2010, July 6 - Picture taken at the first night of Map Fest, 'Mapping for Change' on July 6th 2010. Map Fest took place on July 6, 8 and 9 at Mediamatic Bank. Andreas Conradi

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Annelys de Vet presents at Map Fest 2010, July 6 - Annelys de Vet presenting her subjective atlases on the first day of Map Fest, 'Mapping for Change'. Map Fest took place on July 6, 8 and 9 at Mediamatic Bank. Annelys de Vet maps countries, regions and political entities in collaboration with local residents. Mapping for Change took place on July 6th 2010, at Mediamatic Bank. Annelys de Vet presenting her subjective atlases at Map Fest 2010. In these publications, she maps a country, region or political entity in collaboration with… Andreas Conradi

Annelys de Vet

Annelys de Vet has published several subjective atlases, both of the EU and The Netherlands, as well as of Palestine and Serbia, and is currently working on atlases of other countries. Her strategy: a bottom-up approach. Just like Malkit, she aims at constructing alternatives to the dominant ways of representing nations. Maps are made by an act of selection and exclusion. They play a role in the functioning of national symbolism, and create a certain and specific 'feeling of common ground'. Annelys wanted to create an atlas which would show exactly this process, in the hope of overcoming the self-mystifying aspect of map-making.

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Christian Nold presents at Map Fest 2010, July 6 - Christian Nold is a London based artist, designer and educator. He was one of the speakers during the first night of Map Fest, 'Mapping for Change'. Map Fest took place on July 6, 8 and 9 at Mediamatic Bank. Christian Nold is a London based artist, designer and educator. Picture taken at Mapping for change. July 6, 2010. Andreas Conradi

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Christian Nold presents at Map Fest 2010, July 6 - Christian was one of the speakers at 'Mapping for Change', the first night of Map Fest 2010. Map Fest took place on July 6, 8 and 9 at Mediamatic Bank. Christian told us about his latest project, Bijlmer Euro, a local currency designed for Amsterdam Zuid Oost. Mapping for Change took place on July 6th 2010. Christian will be telling us about his latest project, Bijlmer Euro, a local currency designed for Amsterdam Zuid Oost. The complimentary currency instigates meetings and social… Andreas Conradi

Christian Nold

Christian Nold is interested in how all kinds of global flows, such as money, influence and shape local communities. New means such as mapping can reveal their influence, and allow for an appropriation thereof by communities. He operates in the space between maps and mapping, two distinct although interrelated operations. Mapping is something intrinsically part of every community. A map is perhaps no more than a temporarily fixed or stabilized result of this process, but partly inadequate precisely because of this aspect.

The Bijlmer Euro is a project which deals with the issues mentioned above. It combines Euro banknotes, and the already present RFID tags in disposable public transport cards. Everyone can make a Bijlmer Euro, by extracting the tag and sticking it to a banknote. The tracking system now tracks money flows, rather than people. But the cognitive value of knowing where your money goes (often the sole focus of data-visualization) seems to be less important than the practical and real-life consequences in the Bijlmer community, the transformation of social relations that it evokes. As Christian said: 'New tools, new relations.'

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Wietske Maas presents at Map Fest 2010, July 6 - Wietske Maas' was one of the speakers at 'Mapping for Change', the first night of Map Fest 2010. Map Fest took place on July 6, 8 and 9 at Mediamatic Bank. Wietske Maas' work focuses on the city as a natural, autonomous source of food. Picture taken during Mapping for Change, on July 6 at Mediamatic Bank. Wietske Maas' work focuses on the co-existence of plants, humans and animals in cities, and on the city as a natural, autonomous source of food. On the first night of Map… Andreas Conradi

Wietske Maas

Whereas Christian Nold works with the movements of the 'noosphere', Wietske Maas focuses on the underlying bio- and ecological processes that inhabit the urban landscape (see Urbanibalism). The question they both seem to raise is: How can we meaningfully capture, represent, make effective, and appropriate these ephemeral and phantom-like flows that are both abstract and most concrete? Wietske is currently working as artist in residence for Casco, within the ongoing project “The Grand Domestic Revolution”. She researches the plant life of Utrecht, and traces the things that keep on living despite urban planning. The unexpected anomalies of city life.

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Nat Muller introducing Wietske Maas at Map Fest 2010, July 6 - Independent curator Nat Muller was the moderator during the first night of Map Fest, 'Mapping for Change'. Map Fest took place on July 6, 8 and 9 at Mediamatic Bank. Independent curator Nat Muller was the moderator at Mapping for Change, during Map Fest 2010. Mapping for Change took place on July 6 at Mediamatic Bank. Andreas Conradi

Concluding Map Fest evening 1

The different projects presented today are all dealing with complex systems and processes unintelligible to the bare senses. Systems that are distributed spatially as well as temporally in a highly mediated and fragmented fashion. The impossibility of making those systems or processes intelligible on a human scale, makes mapping necessary. For only if we can see what is going on, or know that what we see is partly determined by how it is presented, can we start to ask questions. And more important: give radically different answers. Our world is very much constituted by these sorts of complex processes. If 'politics' means: making things visible in ways different from the established status quo, so that the latter can be renegotiated, mapping is relevant (leaving the problem of real effectiveness aside). It is this implicit line of thinking which I most recognized among the artists who presented their work tonight.

More information

Map Fest 2010 took place on July 6, 8 and 9 at Mediamatic Bank.
Read about Map Fest evening 2 (Mapping for Clarity) here.
Read about Map Fest evening 3 / Ignite Amsterdam #1 here.