Mapping the unseen: making sense of the subjective image.

Boyd Davis, Stephen (2009) Mapping the unseen: making sense of the subjective image. In: Emotional cartography: technologies of the self. Nold, Christian, ed. Emotional Cartography, London, pp. 39-52. ISBN 9780955762314. [Book Section]

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It used to be thought that photography, as a kind of automatic mapping, could provide an objective view of the world. Now we are aware of the power of framing and other interventions between what is 'out there' and what is captured in depiction. Perhaps even perception, let alone depiction, shares this subjectivity? The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis holds that different cultures actually see the world in different ways, as evidenced and influenced by concepts in their languages – though this idea has been derided, for example by Pinker. A key difficulty is that the word subjectivity is bandied about without care for its different meanings and without distinguishing the many forms it takes in the graphic image. If into this muddle we introduce the idea of interactivity, still greater confusion easily follows.

The chapter brings some order to different kinds and levels of subjectivity by documenting how they are reflected in forms of graphical mapping. In the process, it becomes clear how significant is the change in media technologies from those bound by the conventional rectangles of the page and screen to media which are interactive, pervasive, multimodal, physical and social.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords (uncontrolled): cartography, mapping, subjectivity, interactive, pervasive media, the open work
Research Areas: A. > School of Art and Design
Item ID: 4159
Depositing User: Dr Stephen Boyd Davis
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2010 11:08
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2022 01:31

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