Cultural mapping using real maps

One thing the project will explore is how we use maps to store, analyse and convey information about cultural assets in regions. We know alot about qualitative research methods, but only recently are we starting to mesh these with actual mapping technologies. Options include using Web 2.0 platforms like Google Maps, or even in-car GPS systems, all the way through to state-of-the-art Geographical Information Systems (which we can thankfully appropriate from the scientists!).

With one of my PhD students, Chris Brennan-Horley, who is advancing methodologies in this rapidly growing area, I recently wrote an article that might be of interest.

I'll try and navigate the strange new world of the blogsphere and see if I can make a link to it... here goes.


Attachment(click to download)
CBH CG where is creativity in the city 090619.pdf981.14 KB


A heads up for cultural

Chris Gibson's picture

A heads up for cultural mapping fans and newbies of some interesting work on the go at the moment, that'll also appear on this website in the coming months.

Andrew Warren, CAMRA PhD student at the University of Wollongong, is playing around with using Google maps as a device to track different kinds of vernacular creativity in the Illawarra.

One exercise has been to map the sites of custom car design - for a case study on creativity amongst working-class youth. It produces a completely different map of where creativity exists in the Illawarra compared to conventional mapping of creative industries employment. Maps on this will be available soon.

Another exercise he has undertaken - and that'll also appear soon once the full analysis is done - is to interview young Aboriginal rappers and get them to map where they secure gigs, both as hip-hop acts, and as 'traditional' performers doing singing and dancing acts at festivals and the like. Andrew has been doing this work in collaboration with Rob Evitt, a young Aboriginal man from Wollongong (and student intern with us at the University of Wollongong). Rob's contacts have been critical in making this project possible.

The resulting maps are intriguing and a wider story is emerging about how opportunities are being found by young Aboriginal rappers - but also how the pattern of these is constrained by expectations about what constitutes 'proper' Aboriginal performance. Stay tuned for the full story, coming soon...


I received an email alert

Chris Gibson's picture

Redfern book

I received an email alert about a new publication - which looks promising at first scan - for those with an interest in cultural mapping. I'll cut and paste the blurb below, as sent by Brett Neilson at UWS. Please note that the whole book can be downloaded freely, which is nice.

On second look, I don't think there's any actual mapping involved - whether literal or creative - which is a bit of a shame because the topic clearly lends itself to mucking around with maps as method... anyhow, it might interest readers of this blog.


There Goes The Neighbourhood: Redfern and the Politics of Urban Space
> There Goes The Neighbourhood is edited by Keg de Souza and Zanny Begg
> from You Are Here, a Sydney based art collective which focuses on
> social and spatial mapping.
> To download a PDF of the book click:
> The question of what kind of city we want cannot be divorced from that
> of what kind of social ties, relationship to nature, lifestyles,
> technologies and aesthetic values we desire. The right to the city is
> far more than the individual liberty to access urban resources: it is
> a right to change ourselves by changing the city. It is, moreover, a
> common rather than an individual right since this transformation
> inevitably depends upon the exercise of a collective power to reshape
> the processes of urbanization. The freedom to make and remake our
> cities and ourselves is, I want to argue, one of the most precious yet
> most neglected of our human rights - David Harvey, The Right to the
> City
> There Goes the Neighbourhood was the ironic chorus to the 1992 Body
> Count song which lamented the invasion of the once poor (and Black)
> into the neighbourhood of the rich (and white). But an alternative
> destruction of "The Neighbourhood" can happen when the poor get pushed
> out of their local community as part of the process of gentrification.
> This issue is particularly relevant for the suburb of Redfern, an
> inner city suburb of Sydney which has been home for a large working
> class and Indigenous community, and which is undergoing a process of
> rapid development and change.
> The Block, Redfern, has been described as the "Black Heart" of
> Australia and occupies a unique place within Sydney's urban landscape
> as a centre for the Indigenous community. The suburb was once a strong
> working class neighbourhood and was the starting point for the 1917
> general strike for a shorter working week - but in the 1980s the rail
> yards were closed down and have now been transformed into a new
> cultural centre, CarriageWorks. Redfern grabbed headlines in 2004
> after riots erupted when a 17 year old Aboriginal boy died as he was
> chased by police cars on his push-bike. In that same year the
> Redfern/Waterloo Authority was established - a special government committee to oversee the rapid development and gentrification of the area.
> Redfern thus involves a complex, contested and controversial
> overlapping use of urban space.
> There Goes the Neighborhood begins with a close study of Redfern
> before expanding into international examples to provide a detailed
> exploration of how the phenomenon of gentrification is altering the
> relationship between democracy and demography around the world. This
> book has been published in tandem with an exhibition of the same name
> and many of the contributions come from participating artists in the
> exhibition: Brenda L. Croft
> (Australia),
> 16beaver
> (USA), Daniel Boyd
> (Australia),
> Temporary Services
> (USA), Jakob Jakobsen
> (Denmark), Lisa Kelly
> (Australia), SquatSpace
> (Australia), Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro
> (Germany/Australia), Evil Brothers
> (Australia), You
> Are Here
> (Australia), Michael Rakowitz
> (USA), Miklos
> Erhardt and Little Warsaw
> (Hungary),
> Bijari (Brazil)
> and Democracia
> (Spain). The book also includes contributions from key thinkers about
> the complex life of cities such as the Situationists, Mike Davis,
> Brian Holmes, Gary Foley and Elizabeth Farrelly.