27th Sep2012

Weekly Post: Soja, Paglen, Harpold

by jessicavooris

1) Paglen’s work on blank spots reminds us that mapping and maps are not just about how particular places are represented but also about the places that are left unmarked or hidden.  He also emphasizes again how maps are linked to knowledge and power.  Furthermore, “What we see strongly guides what we do: To an extent, we enact what we imagine.” (56) This line caught my attention and I wonder how we might relate it to discussion we have already had in class around mapping and digital space. We have talked about space in terms of social relations and philosophy; how is this related to imagination?

2) “Recasting the fractiousness of material culture in the tidy efficiencies of the digital sample, they hide nascent lines of force that thread through and across those stark divides.” (Harpold, 37).  This quote made me wonder if we can return to our conversation about the material and the digital in terms of both the internet/cyberspace and maps/mapping?

3) Soja writes that “Since we construct our multiscalar geographies, or they are constructed for us by more powerful others, it follows that we can act to change or reconfigure them to increase the positive or decrease the negative affects.”  I would like to discuss this more in class, who is it that has the ability to construct particular geographies and to change them? How are maps part of that construction? What role might participatory-map making have with Soja’s idea of spatial justice?

Definitions:

Space: relationship between bodies and objects; understood in relation to our embodied experience of the world, the meaning that we attach to the  areas that we move through–be they virtual or physical. Cannot be separated from our concepts of time.  ”we are just as much spatial as temporal beings, that our existential spatiality and temporality are essentially or ontologically coequal, equivalent in explanatory power and behavioral significance, interwoven in a mutually formative relation.” (Soja, 16).  It can not be seen as merely physical or philosophical, it is also social.

The body: that through which we experience the world, connected intimately with our conceptions of space.  ”Everybody has a body, nobody can escape from their body, and consequently all human activity–every form of individual and collective practice–is a situated practice and thus geographical.” ( Paglen quoting Allan Pred, 17)

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