This chapter considers the implications of recent developments around
object-oriented philosophy, the ontological turn and new materialism for the
study of maps. Drawing a line from critical cartography to contemporary
debates of non-representational and performative mapping, it argues for an
approach that goes beyond textual or representational readings to think
about how maps invent, affect and perform. With regards to time, this means
an examination not of its representation, but of how maps themselves produce
particular temporalities. A case study of the PathoMap describes how digital
visualisations in the ‘smart city’ help to produce a regime of preparedness.
As ‘device’, the map establishes a rhythm with the city, from emergence, to
detection, to intervention; closing down the horizon of possible futures. In
contrast to this pre-emptive elimination of uncertainty, it is suggested
that a critical object-oriented cartography can point to the potential of
maps to prompt the speculative provocation of possibility.
Reading Tim Robinson through Gluaiseacht Chearta Sibhialta na Gaeltachta
talking about, exactly? To a great extent I am
referring to people who expressed the idealism of the late 1960s by leaving
behind big cities and moving to marginal areas as part of a widespread rejection
of materialism and careerism. Desmond Fennell, a political journalist who served
as a kind of ‘staff intellectual’ for Gluaiseacht, wrote about the phenomenon in
his book Beyond Nationalism, as he recalled his own move to the Connemara
Gaeltacht in the late 1960s:
Years later we discovered that in 1968, in West European countries and the USA, a
trickle of families and
Postcolonialism and ecology in the work of Tim Robinson
Green: Environmental Politics and World Narratives (Charlottesville: University of
Virginia Press, 2010).
20 Elizabeth DeLoughrey and George B. Handley, ‘Introduction: Towards an Aesthetics
of the Earth’, in Elizabeth DeLoughrey and George B. Handley (eds), Postcolonial
Ecologies: Literatures of the Environment (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), 4.
21 DeLoughrey and Handley, ‘Introduction’, 4.
22 See, for example, John Bellamy Foster, Marx’s Ecology: Materialism and Nature
(New York: Monthly Review Press, 2000).
23 See Jason Moore
practice theory moves beyond the moment of
enactment, the actants involved, moments of translation or the assembled network. Instead, the focus lies on historically informed human action (practices
not practice) – what people do – with the practices carried out as constitutive of
social order (Giddens, 1984) – and not the individuals or maps directly.
Extending practice theory, Swidler’s (2001) proposal for a focus on bodilyinscribed (embodied) action is a useful addition. She avoids idealism-materialism
dualisms to focus on practices simultaneously in two directions
(such as bio-technology), they are able to
subvert, and benefit from, its use.
Bob (McSpotlight) argued that environmentalists need to participate in
the internet in order to determine how it is used and to help maintain the
freedom of the medium from corporate control. Using CMC, Mary (Peace
Action14) asserted, activists were able to ‘have a voice in a place amidst all
this materialism and worshipping of technology’. Furthermore, some
interviewees attempted to avoid aspects of the technology with which they
disagreed by customising PCs to make their use less like