After five years of joy and (technical) frustration, I’ve decided to retire my old “Urban Media Archaeology” class. Given how much time and energy I dedicated to this course over the years, I’m grateful to have achieved a satisfying sense of closure: next week the University of Minnesota Press will ship my Deep Mapping the Media City, a little book that essentially outlines the theoretical and historical frameworks and methods of UMA.
Yet I can’t simply abandon the map. So, this coming fall, I’ll introduce a new hybrid theory-practice studio course: Maps as Media. Here’s my tentative course description:
Maps reveal, delineate, verify, orient, navigate, anticipate, historicize, conceal, persuade, and, on occasion, even lie. From the earliest maps in cave paintings and on clay tablets, to the predictive climate visualizations and crime maps and mobile cartographic apps of today and tomorrow, maps have offered far more than an objective representation of a stable reality. In this hybrid theory-practice studio we’ll examine the past, present, and future – across myriad geographic and cultural contexts – of our techniques and technologies for mapping space and time. In the process, we’ll address various critical frameworks for analyzing the rhetorics, poetics, politics, and epistemologies of spatial and temporal maps. Throughout the semester we’ll also experiment with a variety of critical mapping tools and methods, from techniques of critical cartography to sensory mapping to time-lining, using both analog and digital approaches. Tentative course requirements include: individual map critiques; individual final critical-creative projects in a format of each student’s choosing; and small-group projects completed in collaboration with NYPL Labs and the NYPL Map Division, in support of their work on the Knight Foundation-funded Space/Time Directory.
I welcome overtures from potential guest speakers, hosts of field trips and/or other cartographic excursions, and especially creative, tech-savvy, GIS-fluent teaching assistants!