FORM OF EXPRESSION : WRITING AFTER READING
TO BECOME A BETTER CARTOPOLOGIST
TO KNOW MORE ABOUT CARTOPOLOGY
Expected from you
spirit of initiative
performativity and interacton
Degree of complexity
TO EXPECT FROM THE FORM OF EXPRESSION
You will understand how the different Forms of Expression belong to one another, behave in group and why this is an important for cartopological maps.
JOINING AND CORRESPONDING
22 April 2021
‘www.cartopology.institute’ [enter]. ‘Forms of Expression’ [click]. Only two clicks to get a list of all the Forms of expressions (FOEs) on offer appearing on your screen. FOEs are fragments of research about cartopology that manifest themselves in different forms. Taken form the Cartopologist’s Life, Trajectories and Exercises are only a few of them. This very own FOE however, is not about their separate and individual value. This FOE will substantiate the value of the FOEs joint in cahiers. ‘Add to Cahier’ [click], to simply select the FOE you are interested in. Together they make up a unique collection of FOEs in your own assembled cahier. What are you actually doing here? Why is the emphasis placed on various fragments and the compilation of cahiers? Why not having the cahiers made for you? Has this to do with artistic research and cartopology as a discipline? To explain why the FOEs are to be selected and assembled into unique cahiers, I use the verbs ‘to correspond’ and ‘to join with’ that I take from Tim Ingold.¹ In a recorded lecture, Ingold refers to John Dewey’s theory of correspondence. He called it ‘the principle
of continuity of experience’.² In this lecture Ingold gives the example of inviting somebody for a walk. ‘Join with me for a walk’ is what you would say. And while walking you ‘correspond’ to one another. You are not added to one another but carry on alongside one another. ‘Joining with’ as a bond of sympathetic union or corresponding to one another instead of an external ‘joining up’ holding things together. Ingold continues explaining the importance of the word ‘with’. Joining with rather than joining up which implies and…and…and. The correspondence of parts is an ongoing process of joining with one another. In the same way, the FOEs are joined with one another in the form of cahiers. Within a cahier, the FOEs are ‘answering’ – or ‘responding’- to one another, they correspond.³ But why? Why do FOE’s joined in cahiers have to behave like Ingold’s concept of ‘joining with’ and ‘correspondence’? Because, something happens between the FOEs. That something, according to Ingold, is tacit knowledge. First coined by Michael Polany, tacit knowledge is knowledge that is difficult to express or to put into words. ‘We can know more than we can tell.’4
So besides the knowledge that is gained within a FOE there is also knowledge to gain in the navigating between them. This navigation between the joined FOEs is to compare with the navigation on maps and more specifically on cartopological maps. David MacDougal helps me to explain what that navigation entails. In his chapter Voice and Vision, he discusses the impact of written text compared to visual description.5 Through MacDougal’s lens, cartopological maps are composites featuring fragments carefully put in place from a multiplicity of angles, existing simultaneously and constructing yet another reality of the mapped place seeing as much with the mind as with the eye. These fragments are precisely chosen with a specific scale, proportion and tone. It is absurd to attempt to replicate the world in all its perspective and details, so the fragments are scattered, disconnected and leaving gaps. However, ‘these gaps give the reader or viewer a creative role in fusing together the fragments that the author has chosen to represent the scene’ or in the case of cartopological maps, place. MacDougal explains that ‘the interrelationships, of these (gaps) that are often more important than the components of the images taken separately.’6 The navigation on maps, between carefully chosen fragments allows and even demands from the reader to engage and piece together those fragments into the
creation of a new understanding of the mapped place. The reader’s ‘attention can take possession of any of them, or any combination of them, all at once or progressively as it wanders among them.’7 This contrasts with academic papers that ‘tend to leave little to the imagination, generally starting with statements of what they will say, proceeding to saying it in detail, and concluding with a summary of what has just been said.’8 The associative character of cartopological maps, navigating from one fragment to another, building up understanding of the place that is mapped is, to my perspective, an underestimated way of understanding place and should be taken in account more seriously.
MacDougal describes it as ‘interrelations between fragments’, I used the term ‘navigation’ but Ingold describes it more precisely with the verbs ‘to correspond’ and ‘to join’. It are ways to raise the awareness and understand the fundaments and the creation of knowledge that is not so easy to grasp in words. Joining FOEs that correspond to one another attempts to participate in that awareness, trains similar mechanisms and provides the possibility within the cahiers to combine explicit knowledge and insights with tacit knowledge through the navigation between the FOEs.
Tim Ingold refers to those terms in a lecture he gave in 2016 and that has been recorded and in an article, he wrote in 2014. Tim Igold, Training the Senses: The Knowing Body, (2016) accessed January 26th 2021, https://marres.org/programmas/training-the-senses-timingold-the-knowing-body/ and Tim Ingold, On Human Correspondence, (University of Aberdeen, 2014)
Ingold mentions this in his lecture: Tim Igold, Training the Senses: The Knowing Body, (2016) accessed January 26th 2021, https:// marres.org/programmas/training-the-senses-tim-ingold-the-knowingbody/
Tim Ingold, On Human Correspondence, (University of Aberdeen, 2014) p.8
Michael Polanyi, The Tacit Dimension (University of Chicago Press, 1966) p.4
David MacDougal, The Corporeal Image: Film Etnography and the Senses, (Princeton University Press, 2006)
David MacDougal, The Corporeal Image: Film Etnography and the Senses, (Princeton University Press, 2006) p.37
David MacDougal, The Corporeal Image: Film Etnography and the Senses, (Princeton University Press, 2006) p.42
David MacDougal, The Corporeal Image: Film Etnography and the Senses, (Princeton University Press, 2006) p.44