Kunstlicht is a Dutch journal for visual art, visual culture and architecture. It is affiliated with VU University Amsterdam. For more information (in Dutch), see www.tijdschriftkunstlicht.nl.
With Mind the Map, Kunstlicht aims to investigate the power of the map in the arts. Why are so many artists drawn to this ‘medium’? In the twentieth century the ontological status of the map changed. ‘Critical’ or ‘radical’ cartography shifted the focus from the map as an arrested status quo, to ‘mapping’ as a performative and political act. Also outside the field of geography, concepts such as ‘story maps’, ‘narrative cartography’ and ‘soft atlas’ pop up ever more. In anthropology cartography has been used as an instrument to fathom the subjective experience of the everyday surroundings.
These developments are reflected in the visual arts. Stanley Brouwn’s This Way Brouwn (1961) already alluded to an alleged relation between cartography and the individual perception of space long before this became a topos in anthropology. Walter Benjamin’s wish to graphically express the ‘bios’, the Raum des Lebens, on a map, has curiously come true in the Situationist International’s psychogeographical collages, in Richard Long’s ‘hiking maps’, and in On Kawara’s cartographic diaries (I Went, 1968-1979). For others, such as Kim Levin (see: ‘Farewell to Modernism’ (1979)), the map symbolized the urge to look outward, and escape from the self-reflexivity of the artwork as sanctioned by Modernism.
Nowadays, art with cartographic material is no longer a rarity. Why do so many artists find the map so interesting? What explains the remarkable renaissance of this ‘medium’? The board of editors welcomes proposals for theoretical discussions on, among other topics, the changing ontological status of the map, or on the map as a device to order and visualize information. Art-historical analyses and original takes on specific case studies are also anticipated.
Proposals (200 – 300 words) with attached résumés can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org before 15 February 2013. Selected authors will be invited to write a 2,000 – 3,000-word paper (excluding notes). Papers may be written either in English or in Dutch, although we prefer native Dutch speakers to write in their native language. Authors who publish in Kunstlicht will receive three complimentary copies. Kunstlicht does not provide an author’s honorarium. Two years following publication, papers will be submitted to the freely accessible online archive at www.tijdschriftkunstlicht.nl/site/index.php/archief.
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