Dark writing: Geography, performance, design

Carter, P 2008, Dark writing: Geography, performance, design, University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Document type: Book
Collection: Books

Title Dark writing: Geography, performance, design
Author(s) Carter, P
Year 2008
Publisher University of Hawaii Press
Place of publication Honolulu, Hawaii
Subjects Art Theory and Criticism not elsewhere classified
Language, Communication and Culture not elsewhere classified
Landscape Architecture
Summary We do not see empty figures and outlines; we do not move in straight lines. Everywhere we are surrounded by dapple; the geometry of our embodied lives is curviform, meandering, bi-pedal. Our personal worlds are timed, inter-positional, and contingent. But nowhere in the language of cartography and design do these ordinary experiences appear. This, Dark Writing argues, is a serious omission because they are designs on the world: architects and colonizers use their lines to construct the places where we will live. But the rectilinear streets, squares, and public spaces produced in this way leave out people and the entire environmental history of their coming together. How, this book asks, can we explain the omission of bodies from maps and plans? And how can we redraw the lines maps and plans use so that the qualitative world of shadows, footprints, comings and goings, and occasions-all essential qualities of places that incubate sociality-can be registered? In short, Dark Writing asks why we represent the world as static when our experience of it is mobile. It traces this bias in Enlightenment cartography, in inductive logic, and in contemporary place design. This is the negative critique. Its positive argument is that, when we look closely at these designs on the world, we find traces of a repressed movement form. Even the ideal lines of geometrical figures turn out to contain traces of earlier passages; and there are many forms of graphic design that do engage with the dark environment that surrounds the light of reason. How can this "dark writing"-so important to reconfiguring our world as a place of meeting, of co-existence and sustaining diversity-be represented? And how, therefore, can our representations of the world embody more sensuously the mobile histories that have produced it?
Copyright notice © 2009, by University of Hawaii Press. All rights reserved.
Keyword(s) Cartography
environmental geography
ISBN 9780824832469
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