Presented at 33C3 (2016)
Dec. 27, 2016, 4 p.m.
What are the politics and aesthetics of mapping? An introduction how cartography shapes cities and landscapes, creates borders and determines the perception of our environment. How an evolving mix of high-resolution satellite imagery, algorithm-based mappings and the huge amount of data of digitized cities will enhance these effects? And in contrast, how can maps be designed, that question the “objectivity” and “correctness” of conventional cartography?
While digital communication gets ubiquitous, maps play an important role in the formation and mediation of physical space.
A view back to earlier stages of development from the Da Vinci maps in the 15th century, the world-exploring and world-conquering by cartographic techniques in the area of colonialism in the late 19th, the emergence of photorealistic mapping (aerial and satellite photography) in the 20th century will provide some ideas of the power of maps and its impacts on society.
With the Aspen Movie Map and its widespread successor Google Street View there is a decisive change of perspective going on (from bird‘s eye view to street level) that will lead to new, more intense forms of immersion by the use of maps.
Maps shapeshift into navigational screens, we are using digital maps while our devices map our movements in the same time. With a view ahead, I‘ll try to find out which mapping algorithms are developed, which kind of images latest satellites with high-resolution 3D capabilities will create and what maps the researchers of Silicon Valley and the automotive industry want to fabricate – and thus new aesthetics and politics of mappings.
In contrast to this I will follow the question how other views can be created by antagonistic maps, that question the brutal “objectivity” and shiny “correctness” of computer-generated maps and that tell different stories from the perspective of the inhabitants living in those mapped cities and landscapes.
Working and living in Hamburg, I am doing research, projects and collaborations on cities, public space and digital communications.