Charting space

The cartographies of conceptual art

Elize Mazadiego
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By the late 1960s cartographic formats and spatial information were a recurring feature in many conceptualist artworks. While maps have received some scholarly attention, Charting space offers a rich study of conceptualism’s mapping practices that includes more expanded forms of spatial representations. Departing from the perspective that artists were merely recording and communicating information, this book expands on the philosophical and political imperatives within their artistic practices. The volume brings together twelve in-depth case studies that address artists’ engagement with matters of space at a time when concepts of space garnered new significance in art, theory and culture. It covers a diverse range of subjects, such as London’s socio-spatial sphere in the 1970s, geopolitics and decoloniality in Brazil, the global networking strategies of the Psychophysiology Research Institute in Japan, the subjective body in relation to cosmological space from the Great Basin Desert in the United States, and notions of identity and race in the urban itinerant practices of transnational artists. Together the chapters shed fresh light on an evident ‘spatial turn’ from the postwar period into the contemporary, and the influence of larger historical, social and cultural contexts upon it. The contributors illustrate how conceptualism’s cartographies were critical sites in formulating artists’ politics, graphing heterogeneous spaces and upsetting prevailing systems.

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