“Maps of time: exploring the rhythms of a mediated world” presented by Gazzard and French


Session Title:

  • Locative Media and Mapping

Presentation Title:

  • Maps of time: exploring the rhythms of a mediated world




  • Keywords: map, rhythm, space, time, network, cycle, light

    “Everywhere where there is interaction between a place, time and an expenditure of energy, there is a rhythm”   _Lefebvre 2004:15

    Rhythm is a fundamental part of the human experience of place; planetary rhythm, circadian rhythm and cellular rhythm underpin our interpretations of the world and ourselves. Traditional mapping, in its translation to the page, prioritises space over time, frequently removing the cyclical rhythms inherent in the experience of landscape in favour of a more linear approach. In a world of GPS, user-generated mapping and mobile data, we are constantly translating energies, marking places, and attempting to create interactions between body, space and time. The real-time interaction with the machine creates a rhythm of materiality and consumption of online connected places, reflecting only one facet of our existence.

    However, the temporality of the sun and the moon, as systems of cyclical rhythm depict a relationship between night and day, body and landscape; expending the energy of the spaces we exist in. To map these rhythms allows for a different type of inscription, one that grows with the luminance of the place.

    This paper explores the mapping of rhythms through luminance, focusing on two artworks, Two Places I Call Home by Michaela French and Streetlight Storm by Katie Paterson. By slowing down the inscription through real time events of environmental change, the experience of the viewer shifts, relating to the mapped space through a new lens. Exploring the layers of ‘real-time’ inherent within our daily lives, as so often not exposed through the fixed nature of the map, we are able to re-frame the rhythms of the digital experience. Similar mapping technologies become repurposed in order to adapt our experiences of place so often lost by the ephemeral quality of location-based experiences constantly infiltrating our everyday lives.

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