Search: Close Up at a Distance: Mapping, Technology, and Politics (Laura Kurgan and Trevor Paglen)

Monday, April 22, 2013
Wood Auditorium

Laura Kurgan, Columbia University GSAPP
Trevor Paglen, artist

Laura Kurgan Director, Spatial Information Design Lab (SIDL) is joined by artist and geographer Trevor Paglen to discuss Close Up at a Distance: Mapping, Technology, and Politics, Kurgan’s multifaceted explorations of data-driven maps and satellite imagery as arguments, active interpretations, and propositions. Touching on human rights, surveillance, and social justice, Kurgan’s projects include You Are Here, a performative d├ętournement of the Global Positing System, Monochrome Landscapes, a series of aerial views of vulnerable and contested landscapes that recall the work of Ellsworth Kelly, as well as SIDL’s noted Million Dollar Blocks, a block-by-block study of the human and financial costs of incarceration in the US today. “Identify an area,” Kurgan suggests. “Zoom in and examine the specific conditions. Zoom out and then consider both scales at the same time. The resulting image is no longer hard data. It is a soft map that is infinitely scalable, absolutely contingent, open to vision and hence revision.”


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