In this essay, I argue that the database, as a technology and a cultural object, can provide productive common ground for artists and designers to contribute to a broader dialogue around spatial and temporal representations in maps and mapping. This dialogue is important because, in general, the world-making act of cartographic representation lacks a temporal dimension.
This text appears in the YYZ publication, What is our role? Artists in Academia and the Post-Knowledge Economy edited by Jaclyn Meloche Ph.D. Reflecting on the question posed by the publication, I imagined a dialogue between my artistic, architectural and intellectual self, accompanied by a series of diagrams, on what a contemporary manifesto for artists and designers in educational institutions would be.
Video is dead because the generic has consumed everything. Video is dead in much the same way that the internet does not exist. There is no singular and useful thing that we can call the internet. I raise this same question for video, is there any singular and useful thing called video? Has it collapsed under the weight of its own multiplicity? Has it consumed and been consumed? Have any media survived the incredible force of the digital revolution?
Galleries and museums are not places of the moment. They are, essentially, built for the past; they are houses for the artifacts of action. Contemporary artists are often challenged by this. They strategize to find a place for the present in spaces designed to organize and stabilize the past. They confront this past with a blooming and tumbling array of expressions of the now, but inevitably the representation of the present seems an impossible task. How can you hold on to the present for display? How do you represent the moment of now?