Tim Robinson, culture and environment

Unfolding Irish landscapes offers a comprehensive and sustained study of the work of cartographer, landscape writer and visual artist Tim Robinson. The visual texts and multi-genre essays included in this book, from leading international scholars in Irish Studies, geography, ecology, environmental humanities, literature and visual culture, explore Robinson’s writing, map-making and art. Robinson’s work continues to garner significant attention not only in Ireland, but also in the United Kingdom, Europe and North America, particularly with the recent celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of his monumental Stones of Aran: pilgrimage. Robert Macfarlane has described Robinson’s work in Ireland as ‘one of the most sustained, intensive and imaginative studies of a landscape that has ever been carried out’. It is difficult to separate Robinson the figure from his work and the places he surveys in Ireland – they are intertextual and interconnected. This volume explores some of these characteristics for both general and expert readers alike. As individual studies, the essays in this collection demonstrate disciplinary expertise. As parts of a cohesive project, they form a collective overview of the imaginative sensibility and artistic dexterity of Robinson’s cultural and geographical achievements in Ireland. By navigating Robinson’s method of ambulation through his prose and visual creations, this book examines topics ranging from the politics of cartography and map-making as visual art forms to the cultural and environmental dimensions of writing about landscapes.

Open Access (free)
Cartographic temporalities

The digital era has brought about huge transformations in the map itself, which to date have been largely conceptualised in spatial terms. The emergence of novel objects, forms, processes and approaches in the digital era has, however, posed a swathe of new, pressing questions about the temporality of digital maps and contemporary mapping practices, and in spite of its implicit spatiality, digital mapping is strongly grounded in time. In this peer-reviewed collection we bring time back into the map, taking up Doreen Massey's critical concern for 'ongoing stories' in the world, but asking how mapping continues to wrestle with the difficulty of enrolling time into these narratives, often seeking to ‘freeze’ and ‘fix’ the world, in lieu of being able to, in some way, represent, document or capture dynamic phenomena. This collection examines how these processes are impacted by digital cartographic technologies that, arguably, have disrupted our understanding of time as much as they have provided coherence. The book consists of twelve chapters that address different kinds of digital mapping practice and analyse these in relation to temporality. Cases discussed range from locative art projects, OpenStreetMap mapping parties, sensory mapping, Google Street View, visual mapping, smart city dashboards and crisis mapping. Authors from different disciplinary positions consider how a temporal lens might focus attention on different aspects of digital mapping. This kaleidoscopic approach generates a rich plethora for understanding the temporal modes of digital mapping. The interdisciplinary background of the authors allows multiple positions to be developed.

The visual art of Tim Robinson/Timothy Drever

12 ‘Another half-humanized boulder lying on unprofitable ground’?: the visual art of Tim Robinson/Timothy Drever Catherine Marshall Some years ago, introducing Views From an Island – an exhibition of contemporary Irish Art from the collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art – to an audience in Beijing, and wondering, as one does, where to begin, I found myself explaining, with some difficulty for the listeners, that Ireland is as small as it is, that it floats on the westernmost edge of a large land mass, and that art from this geographically peripheral place

in Unfolding Irish landscapes
Matrixial gazing in Tim Robinson’s walk-art-text practice

13 ‘An ear to the earth’: matrixial gazing in Tim Robinson’s walk-art-text practice Moynagh Sullivan Tim Robinson’s writing cannot be considered as separate from his map-making, nor indeed from the powerful physical practice of his walk. Each of these acts is distinct, yet intimately interlinked to form his own unique aesthetic, and in this essay I consider each of these elements as co-emerging, co-poetic and co-extensive aspects of his oeuvre. Such a practice calls on a deep feminine structure, but not in ways we have come to expect from other well

in Unfolding Irish landscapes
Art and the temporalities of geomedia

6 Traces, tiles and fleeting moments: art and the temporalities of geomedia Gavin MacDonald Introduction: geomediation in the inhabitable map In this chapter, I discuss ways in which artists have exploited and exposed the temporalities of ‘geomedia’. I am following writers working at the intersection of media studies and geography in using this term to refer to a contemporary complex of technologies, content and practices that involve mapping, remote survey visualisations and the binding of digital information to location via GPS (Thielmann, 2010; Lapenta, 2011

in Time for mapping

documenting Connemara to create a place-based art form that magnifies the intricacies of this important landscape, while it also reduces the primacy of the ‘maker’ in the process. 74 Derek Gladwin Figure  12  Connemara topography (from Pat Collins’s film Tim Robinson:  Connemara, photo by Colm Hogan). Tim Robinson:  Connemara is not only a documentary about the cultural and geographical elements of Robinson’s map-making and writing, but is also about Robinson’s technique of capturing the essence of place, a method that comes back full circle to Collins’s primary aim in

in Unfolding Irish landscapes
Landscape, mobility and politics after the crash

politicians and engineers alike. During the boom, aerial photographs of bypasses and stretches of new motorway adorned the annual reports of Irish County Councils like priceless works of art, projecting barely disguised fantasies of what Dimendberg (1995) describes as ‘spatial reverie’. A look at 78 Landscape, mobility and politics after the crash the content of political speeches made about motorways represents this narrative very clearly. The motorway opens up; connects and decongests; boosts the economy; reduces journey times and supports regional connectivity

in Spacing Ireland
The deep mapping projects of Tim Robinson’s art and writings, 1969–72

3 ‘The fineness of things’: the deep mapping projects of Tim Robinson’s art and writings, 1969–72 Nessa Cronin But if it is true that Time began, it is clear that nothing else has begun since, that every apparent beginning is a stage in an elder process.The compass rose that unfurled about me in Aran, I now discover, had its stem in London.1 – Tim Robinson Tim Robinson’s work has become a touchstone for those interested in, and concerned with, the changing nature of the modern Irish landscape. In particular, the production of the maps of The Burren (1977; 1999

in Unfolding Irish landscapes
Open Access (free)
Digital photography and cartography in Wolfgang Weileder’s Atlas

of the instant image is producing a form of illiteracy in experiencing and understanding the nexus between time and space. Maps and digital maps, however Dionysian in character according to geographers Kingsbury and Jones III, can fail to capture this Benjaminian sense of ‘spacecrossed time’; Weileder, like Proust, uses art to highlight the coagulation of fugitive years and roads, moments and avenues within human experience. Space-crossed time In Wolfgang Weileder’s Seascapes (2009–ongoing, see Figure 5.1), time marches steadily on, slice by slice, from left to

in Time for mapping
Abstract only
Ireland’s ‘ABC of earth wonders’

Robinson’s work that reaches beyond prose, the original essays in this volume are in conversation with many previously unpublished visual texts. Mindful of the importance of visual mapping, the images allow us to create another layer of interpretation, including frames of Robinson’s earlier visual art, corners of the home he and his partner have Introduction: Ireland’s ‘ABC of earth wonders’ created in Roundstone, and of course the maps and photos of the terrain and Robinson’s place within it. The images draw from the abundantly rich resources of the newly created Tim

in Unfolding Irish landscapes