Regarding Maps

Thursday, December 28th, 2006

UNC at Chapel Hill is up to some interesting work under the rubric of mapping

In referring to the work of Foucault and post-Foucaultian social theory as the ‘new cartographer’ (along with the new archivist), Gilles Deleuze pointed to a mode of investigation and writing that sought, not to trace out representations of the real, but to construct mappings that refigure relations in ways that render alternative worlds. In this project, we begin with this understanding of new cartographies/new mappings, and then turn to the ways in which these new mappings are emerging within social movement, activist, and artist projects to rethink economic practices and institutions. In forging this research group, we are interested in understanding how this particular genealogy of a new cartography is being and can be mobilized to render new images (and practices) of economies, how it is being deployed in community and alternative economic projects, and how it is being used to understand the institutions and networks of economic organizations such as corporations, military-state economies, and the university.

The practice appears to be about mapping relationships and defining how human geography can be reshaped to create alternative links, paths, circles, and relations. The accompanying disOrientation guide to the university’s connectedness is a visual (re)presentation. It would be interesting for my own college to have such a map. We often sit about confused, wondering where we are in relation to identifiable points, such as an economic sector or other university program.

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