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Title: Translating cities : urban spaces in contemporary art mapping practices
Author: Lanci da Silva, Maria da Gloria
ISNI:       0000 0005 0287 8068
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2020
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This project aims to investigate how cities are perceived, represented and enacted in contemporary art maps, analysing their aesthetic, informative and cultural meanings. The research approaches the diversity of contemporary mapping practices through a series of semi-structured interviews with artists, enquiring how they apprehend, process and re-create urban spaces in artworks. The focus of analysis is on the performative dimensions of art maps rather than on their representational aspects; performance being conceived as the capacity to re-imagine territories and incorporate imagined geographies in relation to physical reality. I discuss the idea of the art map as an open-ended practice that can unfold collective endeavour, personal narratives, contestation and protest, embodiment and play, and where knowledge is culturally produced. This discussion draws on academic debates that have been challenging traditional notions of maps as scientific artefacts for information and way finding, representing a neutral knowledge produced through accurate measurement and surveying. The research applies qualitative methods - interviews with artists and a case study in Liverpool, which illustrate our discussion of how contemporary art works can be related to traditional and non-traditional cartographies and how they promote new ways of understanding, experiencing and imagining urban spaces. I argue that art maps are work-in-progress and they are continuously performing. As cities are transformed through urban planning, political ideologies and socio-economic forces, art maps not only reflect these processes, but they embed knowledge to reinterpret and understand the very nature of urban spaces. The aim of this project is to interrogate how and why artistic production can shed some light in the comprehension of cities, approaching them as creative responses to the perception and understanding of the urban environment. Rather than debating intrinsic aesthetic qualities of artworks I am considering them as translations, or modes of interpretation and investigation of cities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral