Rachel Wells
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‘Space-crossed time’
Digital photography and cartography in Wolfgang Weileder’s Atlas

This chapter argues that Wolfgang Weileder’s artwork Atlas (2011–present) reveals much about our relation to contemporary photography and its use online, particularly with regard to digital maps. By considering Atlas within Weileder’s wider oeuvre and recent theories concerning both ‘time-space compression’ and ‘the acceleration of the instant’, the chapter argues that the artwork presents a Proustian emphasis on the ‘slicing’ of time and memory across spatial referents. Thus, the artist’s ‘constructive’ photographic practice – to use Walter Benjamin’s term – suggests that the contemporary capitalist culture of the instant image is producing a form of illiteracy in experiencing the nexus between time and space. Maps and digital maps, even when Dionysian in character, can fail to capture this Benjaminian sense of ‘space-crossed time’. In contrast, Weileder’s oeuvre is read as offering unsentimental reference points for locating our own spatio-temporal condition.

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Time for mapping

Cartographic temporalities


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