Three exhibition projects inspired by controversy mapping

For discussion, here are pics (see gallery below, 3 pics/project) and texts about exhibition projects I made/participated in, which display “spatialized maps” in different ways.

  • Save as Draft Negociating Atmospheres 2012, Sciences Po
Initiated within Sciences Po Master of Experimentation in Arts and Politics, the Copenhagen project gathers researchers and artists to experiment dispositifs of inquiry and restitution, crossing social science and art practices. Based on a large reenactment of the COP15 2009 summit by Sciences Po students in June 2010, it challenges representations on climate change from scientific, political and artistic perspectives by collecting, shaping and sharing datascapes with the public. The exhibition Save As Draft stages some of the objects which played a role during the reenactment as political actors. Through films, drafts of the negociated agreement, schemas, timelines and other documents, it explores the possibility to restitute investigation material  without a fixed interpretation.
  • Terre de Risques (Planet Risks) 2010, Lausanne

The scenography of the installation Terre de Risques proposes two types of representation of four socio-technical controversies studied by students at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne : the students’ web sites and a map to link them. Starting from the principles and esthetics of the traditional mappa mundi, the map uses digital technologies (search browser Exalead, vizualisation software Gephi, open source graphics editor Inkscape) to materialize another type of reality : a topology of risks built by each of the controversies involving multiple people, institutions, objects and ideas.

  • La Place des Controverses (Controversy Square) 2009, Paris

A hybrid setting, created by artists and researchers, the installation La Place des Controverses is an attempt to immerse visitors in the uncertainties of controversies. It represents eight sociotechnical issues (a highway in the Alps, DNA tests for immigration control, e-voting technologies, cochlear implants, green seaweed on Brittany’s shores etc.) and their entanglement with the political. The space, essentially empty, is structured by a giant semantic map on the floor to be walked upon and art videos. Through immersion and the engagement of perceptions, it gives the visitors the opportunity to make their own experience of a small-scale controversy-based public space.

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