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Mapping is a technical, political, and imaginative practice. Extant critiques of the mapping imagination have noted the move from imperial forms of seeing to counter-mapping efforts to present the world anew (Crampton 2010, Mattern 2013). The latter follows an ethics and ontological politics that subverts the exclusionary, extractive, and unimaginative forms of map-making that feed into dominant economic, racial, and political regimes (Mattern 2015, Peluso 1995, Morris and Voyce 2015). Building on this line of critique and the new horizons of map-making it inspires (e.g. Bond 2017, Fujikane 2021, Loften and Vaughan-Lee 2019, Chari 2017, and many more), we are interested in dwelling more slowly in the problem of form and shape shifting. How do we map phenomena, beings, and places that are in constant transformation? What aesthetic and epistemological questions might be generated by a mapping practice that is committed to changing form? And what kind of collective analytic resources might mapping in a studio context produce? 

 

The 2024 Ethnographic Salon–an annual event celebrating various forms of ethnographic analysis–will explore mapping and shape-shifting as conditions for ethnographic research, with our guest Dr. Shannon Mattern (University of Pennsylvania). The 2024 Salon will be open to doctoral students in Southern California and the EMERGE collective, and will consist of two online sessions and an in-person workshop on March 4th. 

 

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  • Ariadna Hoyos

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