Scribe Notes 4/10

I had big ideas for the final Scribe Note–video, comic, maps. The end of the semester time crunch allowed me to construct this. I attempt a flow chart of some sort, possibly in a spiral shape, with some sub-categories. Kind of a messy outline.

Reading Question 4/3

“Inquiring into patterned activity at any one scale can tell us something that is not evident at any other scale. Through the deliberate alteration of scale, this opening segment of the project seeks to define Canadian-American writing studies interdependency from perspectives that are yet uncommon; it seeks to introduce a viewshed for graphical, distant, and aerial treatments of disciplinary activity that may contribute to a definition concerned less with fixed essences or contrastive differentiation than noticing time-sensitive patterns and emerging shapes” (Mueller, 23).

As an “indexical aereality,” this text spatializes disciplinary activity and movement across the Canadian-American border through maps (43). This spatialized knowing seems reflective of Sousanis’s wayfinding in its shifting from a static locale to a dynamic motion of relationships that serve as definitional and shape-making. As shapes emerge, so too do contours or borders—borders that overlap other borders possibly. Are there ways of mapping or knowing borders as fluid or the edges as fraying? Some rhetoric scholars see the field as one of borrowing from others, others seem more siloed in their view—does scaling in this way take stock of the silos’ contents and their movement, or show tributaries from other ways of knowing and other fields? Also, rather than mapping only disciplinary activity, could we map disciplinary inactivity? Failures of doing, not doing, and not reaching—an antimap?

Stop Draw–4/3

For this Stop-Draw, I was thinking about combining maps and the spiral exercise from Syllabus. Think about a specific point in your life, any point, and begin a spiral–keep the spiral as tight as possible. When this point of reflection transitions to another point in your life, move across the page and begin another spiral. Don’t worry about crossing lines, but try to keep your pen on the page for the duration of the activity.

The difficulty for me when trying this was focusing on my reflection rather than the spiral I was drawing. I don’t know if there is significance in where your focus is. When you are finished, you will have a map that only you can interpret.

Reading Question – 4/3

“Every map is like this, every map facilitates some living by virtue of its ability to grapple with what is known instead of what is merely seen, what is understood rather than what is no more than sensed. I want to say that recently the distance between this visible, palpable world of our senses and the world we make of it has stretched” (Wood 7).

“This is the very point of the map, to present us not with the world we can see, but to point toward a world we might know” (Wood 12).

It’s interesting that throughout this class we have discussed and analyzed visual rhetoric examples we can easily look at, yet Wood criticizes the idea that we oftentimes take physical copies of maps so seriously. With this second quote, Wood encourages us to look beyond what maps present and to consider what we cannot see. This idea is similar to what Sousanis explores with the imagination in Unflattening (88). Considering what Wood argues and Sousanis’ ideas about imagination, do you think that our use of the maps over time hinders our ability to be imaginative? Does this result in an inability to change the status quo? How does Wood’s discussion of property and mental maps play into this?

Big Ideas 4/3

Maps make things real for us, “every map facilitates some living by virtue of its ability to grapple with what is known instead of what is merely seen, what is understood rather than what is no more than sensed” (Wood, 7). Because maps are visually engaging and the physicality that comes with it, this creates something more concrete and understood, or real. “We are always mapping the invisible or the unattainable or the erasable, the future or the past, the whatever-is-not-here-present-to-our-senses now and, through the gift that the map gives us, transmuting it into everything it is not…into the real” (Wood, 5). When something is mapped out it holds a truth making it real. 

Brooke Notes 4/3/17

Title:

Wood, Denis. “Maps Work by Serving Interests.”

Text Citation:

Wood, Denis. “Maps Work by Serving Interests,” The Power of Maps, Guilford, 1992, pp. 4-25.

Summary:

In this chapter, Wood discusses the function and value of maps. He explains that maps connect us with the past and the present and allow us to interact with previous cartographers of the same land. Through maps, we connect with each other, as well as with the world around us because maps allow us to do so. Wood claims this chapter, “attempts to say how it is that maps work, how they make present –so that we can use it today—the accumulated thought and labor of the past” (2).

Keywords:

Maps (4)

Present (7)

Future (7)

Past (7)

Labor (15)

Reality (18)

Quotations (2-3):

“And this, essentially is what maps give us, reality, a reality that exceeds our vision, our reach, the span of our days, a reality we achieve no other way” (Wood 4).

“Ultimately, the map presents us with the reality we know as differentiated from the reality we see and hear and feel. The map doesn’t let us see anything, but it does let us know what others have seen or found out or discovered, other often living but more often dead, the things they learned piled up in the layer on top of layer so that to study even the simplest-looking image is to peer back through ages of cultural acquisition” (Wood 7).

“It is this ability to link the territory with what comes with it that has made maps so valuable to so many for so long” (Wood 10).

 Better simply…to admit it that knowledge of the map is knowledge of the world from which it emerges—as a casting from its mold, as a shoe from its last—isomorphic counter-image to everything in a society that conspires to produce it” (Wood 18).

 “That is, maps, all maps, inevitable, unavoidably, necessarily embody their authors’ prejudices, biases and partialities (not to mention the less frequently observed art, curiosity, elegance, focus, care, imagination, attention, intelligence and scholarship their makers’ bring to their labor)” (Wood 24).

Questions:

If maps allow us to experience the world in a more specific way, seen through the eyes of the past (Wood 9), but we still live our lives in the way we choose, regardless of the impact of the map, then what true impact do maps have on our realities?

This may sound cynical, but I can’t help but wonder about the usage of maps. If, as Wood claims, maps play a vital role in our society by linking the past with the present, especially regarding property taxes and the function of the land, then why doesn’t society utilize maps in a more mainstream fashion?

 “That is, maps, all maps, inevitable, unavoidably, necessarily embody their authors’ prejudices, biases and partialities (not to mention the less frequently observed art, curiosity, elegance, focus, care, imagination, attention, intelligence and scholarship their makers’ bring to their labor)” (Wood 24). Wood discusses the authors’ influences on maps here, and I can’t help but wonder: how do these influences affect the reliability of maps as artifacts of reality?

Further Reading:

Harley, Brian J. “Text and Contexts in the Interpretation of Early Maps.” From Sea Charts to Satellite Images: Interpreting North American History Through Maps, edited by David Buisseret, U of Chicago P, 1990, pp. 3-4.

Mueller, Derek, et al. “Emplaced Disciplinary Networks from Middle Altitude.” Cross-Border Networks in Writing Studies, Inkshed and Parlor Press, 2017, pp. 20-45.

Big Ideas – 4/3

Maps provide us with a way of constructing knowledge and understanding the world around us. Wood acknowledges that the purpose of maps is to “present us not with the world we can see, but to point toward a world we might know” (12). Further, the knowledge represented through maps cannot be taken as Truth because all cartographers create maps through their own lens with which they understand the world. That is, we must consider “the agency of the mapper” to examine potential biases that are inevitably embodied through maps (Wood 24). [NW]