|Anonymous||# Posted on April 15, 2014 at 16:26|
Sorry for a late post.
Wenzel Steinig – Reflections on Tim Ingold (14th April)
“There is a paradox at the heart of modern cartography. The more it aims to furnish a precise and comprehensive representation of reality, the less true to life this representation appears. … The world of our experience is a world suspended in movement, that is continually coming into being as we – through our own movement – contribute to its formation. In the cartographic world, by contrast, all is still and silent. … no sunlight nor moonlight, … no variations of light or shade, no cloads, no shadows or reflections, forests and pastures are devoid of animal life, houses and streets are empty of people and traffic. To dismiss all this … is perverse, to say the least. For it is no less than the stuff of life itself. … Where nothing moves there is nothing to which one can respond. … These observations should finally lay to rest the cartographic illusion, namely that the world is pre-prepared as a stage upon which living things propel themselves about, from one point to another. Life in this view is an internal property of objects, transported upon the exterior surface of a lifeless earth. … Contrary to this assumption, life is not contained within things, nor is it transported about. It is rather laid down along paths of movement. … Ways of life are not therefore detemined in advance, as routes to be followed, but have continually to be worked out anew.”
I chose this quotation in order to talk about a specific idea and not the whole range of ideas Ingold confronts the reader with, as this would lead to a very broad and abstract reflection.
The 4 statements:
Now I don’t want to get into a deep discussion of the philosophical foundations of Ingold’s perception of what life is. Instead I will extract a specific implication of his reasoning, namely that cartography failed its task to build on living ways of orientation, that imply change, which means dislocation and rearrangement of its elements. What I wonder is what a map fulfilling such requirements looks like. It must be alive as the things it shows. Does that mean: No maps anymore? Or animated maps tracking the faintest movements of what they depict? Degressive maps, which show a 3D view of the observer’s location and slowly slide into a bird’s eye map view the farther a point on the map is from the observer’s location?
As Ingold seldomly uses the world system, one could call him a systems thinker in disguise. Systems thinking tries to avoid thinking of things as parts or wholes of a system, as this neglects either their self-organising capacities or their connections to and dependence on other parts of the system.
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