Skip to main content

Caught Mapping

A continuing collaboration between artists exploring cartography and invented landscapes

{{ thumbnailAlt }}
The CM newsprint reader sitting in a coffee shop

A group of five long-time artist collaborators conceived of an exhibition called ++ Caught Mapping ++ at PS Project Space in the Chelsea Art District in New York City. The show took place over a period of 2 weeks in September 2012. The project continued a developing process called “The Living Gallery.” Much of the work, presented ++ Caught Mapping ++ was created in the gallery itself and crafted in full view of the public. Additionally gallery visitors and special guests were invited to participate in art making, research and urban mapping experiences.

A man sitting at a small desk with a typewriter
Jeff Kasper typing prompts for a participatory mapping exercise

The marquee project of the show was called Trap Streets and Dead Drops. Jeff Kasper led sessions of play within the urban streets surrounding the gallery space. A map of the area was created and altered numerous times to create a series of new maps that include “trap streets” (fictitious cartographic locations.) Within the trap streets are “dead drops” (secret locations for the exchange of information.)

The artists and collaborators created artifacts, information or directives, “drop” them in the secret locations and invited guests to find them using the altered maps. Participants engaged with the maps depicted geography, and plotted their experiences in various forms, which in turn informed the evolution of a master map and archive in the gallery and on the website.

During their excursion, participants marked where they find inconsistencies with the map provided. All discovered information was delivered to the map editors who made alterations onto the master map—thus making participants co‐authors of the final archive.

Two people posing for a photo behind a projected video display of a map
Sophie Cooke and Andrew Browne peek out from behind a projection of a video composite of military land navigation training videos

Auxiliary media (photo, video, audio) generated by participants was collected and made available for observation and interaction throughout the duration of the exhibition. Much of the research and mapping experiences informed the artwork that was crafted within the gallery space. Amy Sinclair, Simona Prives, Sophie Cooke, Jeff Kasper and myself produced cut-ups, digital collage, mixed media compositions, oil painting and more.

A stack of newsprint in the corner of a gallery space that is atleast 3 feet tall
The CM newsprint reader stacked in the gallery space

Much of the show and artifacts were temporal. But what does remain is the Caught Mapping Reader. Its a one-page newsprint with five maps combined into one invented landscape. On the reverse side there are a series of “alter texts.” The Reader was included in the 24th Graphic Design Biennial Brno and included in the collection of the Moravian Gallery, Czech Republic. Copies of this artifact are available on request.


Read more posts