Archives for posts with tag: Mapping

Allora & Calzadilla (2007) Interview in ART21 Allora & Calzadilla | Art21 | Preview from Season 4 of “Art in the Twenty-First Century” (2007) [Online video]. Available at: (Accessed 28th July 2014).

  • This short video introduces a piece of work titled Chalks, which was made by Allora & Calzadilla in Peru. Chalks involved the company placing gigantic pieces of chalk in a central square in Lima that houses several government buildings. The square is one regularly used for the voicing of political issues by members of the public. This video looks at how the chalks deposited by A&C were used by people within this place, and how the ‘sculpture’ (A&C’s term, though I would argue it’s as much performance) was eventually removed by police.


Cirio, P. (n.d.) Street Ghosts [poster interventions] documented at Cirio, P. (2012) Street Ghosts [online]. Available from: (Accessed 4th September 2013).

  • Cirio’s Street Ghosts project involves him finding places on google maps where the images of people have been captured, printing out life-size images of them and then pasting these images onto buildings and objects in the actual streets that they appear on google maps. The work explores the problems around surveillance culture and companies that own personal information in the form of public images.

Freeman, J. (2010) Blood, Sweat and Theory. Farringdon: Libri Publishing.

  • This book is about practice-as-research, but it is interesting because it includes several case studies, many of which are examples of socially-engaged performance. See particularly chapters: 1 – on the work of Allan Owens and Hala Al-Yamani; 3 – on the work of Curious; and 11 – on the work of Lee Miller and Bob Whalley; amongst others.

Hofbauer, U. and Derschmidt, F. (2010) ‘Horror Vacui’ in Whybrow, N. (ed.) Performance and the Contemporary City: An Interdisciplinary Reader. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • Hofbauer and Derschmidt discuss their ‘Permanent Breakfast’ events, in which they invite members of the public to sit with them in public places and breakfast. The work functions as a way to meet strangers and to talk about things. In this article Hofbauer and Derschmidt talk about ‘pseudo’ public urban space and how anonymity affects people’s ability to connect and be ‘public’. They also have a website that compliments this article:
  • Permanent Breakfast (2013). Rules of the Game. [online]. Available from: (Accessed 31st July 2013).

LIGNA (n.d.)(c) The Cry of the Mall [online]. Available from: (Accessed 4th September 2013).

  • LIGNA are a group of three artists working together on different projects. They have a weekly radio show, which involves members of the public calling up and playing their favourite songs through their phone receivers. But, this article from their website talks about a project called The Cry of the Mall, and in it I like the way they discuss how the mall conditions social life.

Image credit: Allora and Calzadilla

Follow us on Twitter @UKinteractions (you can join by scrolling to the bottom of this page).


Written by Tim Jeeves.

At the start of August we had our first Interactions face-to-face meeting, kindly hosted by Live@LICA. The following thoughts are developed from notes taken at that meeting. It’s not an attempt to record what was said, and shouldn’t be understood as representative of what the group as a whole necessarily thinks, but instead uses the meeting as a springboard for articulating my own position. It is a (one-sided) extension of the conversation begun in Lancaster.

A central question to that meeting, and perhaps the project as a whole, is what socially-engaged practice actually is. It is apparent though that providing such a fixed definition is not only incredibly tricky, but perhaps even damaging to such practice. Part of the value in socially-engaged work is to be found in the way that it escapes from pre-existing notions of how things should be done, and instead points towards new forms of social encounter. To fix the meaning of this work in terms that are used to describe current encounters is inevitably going to limit the potential for it to imagine different states.


Therefore, rather than establishing a definition, we wondered if mapping the landscape of the practice would prove a more flexible tactic.

Of course, even mapping is not without problems, as Rosi Braidotti states ‘… all cartography, act[s] a posteriori and therefore fail to account for the situation here and now’*, but nevertheless a map acknowledges its inherent difference from the area it is mapping in the way that a definition does not – no one looking at a map thinks they know what a neighbourhood will actually look like.

As Braidotti also notes, maps also have the advantage of being ‘situated’, they are mapped from a particular position and acknowledge that they only show a partial picture (there will always be space off the edge of the map).

Maps can also, when made in the right way, draw attention to the nooks, crannies, and hidden parts of the area they map (even stating that ‘Here be dragons’ when necessary).

Finally, maps also have the potential to intersect with other maps. They might have different scales and emphasises, be useful in different situations and show different areas, but even with all these differences, maps have the potential to act as intersecting guides in territories that might otherwise be less known.

The beginning of this mapping process can be seen elsewhere on the Interactions blog, and as it suggests, it offers a loose suggestion for what socially-engaged practice can be understood to be. As our discussion found, the beauty of such loose description is the potential it provided for more and more questions to arise when the terms are explored more closely.

For instance, one – very specific – line of questioning that can be pursued from a statement such as Engages audiences beyond the arts institution (ie theatres/galleries) in social spaces or contexts is:

  • In such social contexts, what does engaging the audience actually mean? Are they spectators or are they more directly involved in creating the work?
  • If the latter, what are the implications of this in terms of authorship and payment?
  • Are the experiential benefits of taking part in the work ‘payment’ enough for these people?
  • Is there a risk that to not pay participants when others are being paid normalises such non-payment in a broader context? (cf. the emphasis on volunteering to be found in the ideology of the coalition government).
  • What about working with groups where to pay them – even if money is available – could have serious repercussions on their benefit payments once the week or two of the project completes?
  • Does focussing so much on issues of payment act to reduce everything to financial exchange?

The ethics around these issues are complex and to make statements around what ‘should be done’ broader than the situated location of any given instance risks reduction and simplification. Perhaps a part of what is mapped should be concerned with what the appropriate questions are to ask in such instances? Maybe this is a more fruitful preparation for such ethical dilemmas than to settle on a pre-determined moral position.

*From Rosi Braidotti’s Nomadic Subjects, p.104.


Follow us on Twitter @UKinteractions (you can join by scrolling to the bottom of this page).

Written by Sarah Spanton

Most of the work at Hazard was sited in (or nearby to) St Ann’s Square and I wondered what my pattern of movement throughout the day would look like, as I interacted with the work and observed audiences responses.

I was present from 12 til 5pm, so wasn’t a typical audience member, who probably just passed through the space. I made a GPS track record of my journey around the Hazard festival, presented here in the form of several maps.

Hazard #1

Hazard #2

Hazard #3

Hazard Map copy