Performative cartography as social strategy at Play Perform Participate Conference (Utrecht University)

Performative Cartography as social, educational and aesthetic strategy

Naomi Bueno de Mesquita presented performative cartography as a social strategy. She pointed to the participatory quality of performative cartography (partially due to the digitisation of maps and mapping software) emphasising how in particular digital mapping in realtime can be used as a tool that allows for collective co-authorship on spaces, agency and appropriation. A method therefore that brings people together and that can contribute to new forms of civic engagement. This presentation formed part of a joint panel on Performative Cartography, together with Anne Karin ten Bosch, Sigrid Merx and Liesbeth Groot Nibbelink, for the Play / Perform / Participate – ISIS (International Society of Intermedial Studies) Conference #2, University of Utrecht

Performative cartography alludes to the performative turn in cartographic theory, where maps are studied as (interactive) performances and as products of co-creative relationships between maps and users. In this panel Liesbeth, Naomi and Sigrid focused on different uses of maps and practices of mapping: cartography as aesthetic, educational, and social strategy. The panel built on a workshop on collective digital mapping that conference participants could participate in during the conference. Both the output of the workshop and the experiences of the participants would form the material and collective point of reference from which the panelists and their audience started talking about performative cartography.

From the perspective of education dr. Sigrid Merx proposes that performative cartography can function as a creative and playful method and tool that enables students to observe, gather data and reflect on socio-cultural phenomena and practices, using public space as a learning environment. Performative cartography invites learning by doing and playful engagement.

Dr. Liesbeth Groot Nibbelink presented performative cartography as aesthetic strategy. This contribution explores the use of performative cartography within theatre contexts, arguing that performative cartography can be considered a (non-linear) staging strategy. This strategy produces layered spatial practices and creates dramaturgies of situatedness.