[spectre] Karen O'Rourke Book launch on October 17th

Annick Bureaud bureaud at altern.org
Tue Sep 3 17:29:28 CEST 2013

Hello Spectrites !

For those of you in Paris on October 17th, pencil your 
calendar !


Leonardo/Olats and the Bookstore of the Jeu de Paume have 
the great pleasure to invite you to the launch of Karen 
O'Rourke's book Walking and Mapping: Artists as 
Cartographers in Paris with the participation of the artists 
duo Esther Polak et Ivar van Bekkum.

Thursday October 17th 2013 – 7 – 9  pm

Librairie du Jeu de Paume
1, place de la Concorde
75008 Paris
T. 01 47 03 12 36
librairie at jeudepaume.org

* * * * *
Walking and Mapping: Artists as Cartographers
Karen O’Rourke
MIT Press, Leonardo Book Series, May 2013

Walking & Mapping

Leonardo Book Series


An exploration of walking and mapping as both form and 
content in art projects using old and new technologies, shoe 
leather and GPS.

 From Guy Debord in the early 1950s, to Richard Long, Janet 
Cardiff and Esther Polak more recently, contemporary artists 
have returned again and again to the walking motif. Debord 
and his friends tracked the urban ambiences of Paris to map 
the experience of walking at street level. Long trampled a 
path in the grass and snapped a picture of the result (A 
Line Made by Walking). Cardiff created sound walks in 
London, New York and San Francisco that sent the audience 
out walking. Mapping is a way for us to locate ourselves in 
the world, physically, culturally, or psychologically. 
Debord produced maps like collages that traced the 
psychogeography of Paris, while Polak and her team equipped 
nomadic Fulani herders in Nigeria with GPS devices and 
developed a robot to map their itineraries in the sand.
Today, the convergence of global networks, online databases, 
and new tools for mobile mapping coincides with a resurgence 
of interest in walking as an art form. In Walking and 
Mapping, Karen O’Rourke explores a series of walking/mapping 
projects by contemporary artists. Some chart “emotional 
GPS”; some use GPS for creating landscapes made of data 
--“datascapes”-- while others use their legs to do 
“speculative mapping.” Many work with scientists, designers, 
and engineers.
O’Rourke offers close readings of these projects--many of 
which she was able to experience firsthand--and situates 
them in relation to landmark works from the past 
half-century. She shows that the infinitesimal details of 
each work she considers take on more significance in 
conjunction with others. Together, they form a new entity, a 
dynamic whole greater than the sum of its parts. By 
alternating close study of selected projects with a broader 
view of their place in a bigger picture, Walking and Mapping 
itself maps a complex phenomenon.

The author
Karen O’Rourke is an artist and writer based in Paris, 
France whose work has been exhibited in Europe, the United 
States, and South America. Her art projects include City 
Portraits, Paris Réseau/ Paris Network, Archiving as Art and 
A Map Larger than the Territory. A past recipient of the 
Leonardo Award for Excellence, she is a Maître de 
conférences at the Université Paris 1 (Panthéon-Sorbonne). 

Esther Polak and Ivar van Bekkum
The art of Amsterdam based artist couple Esther Polak  (1962 
Amsterdam) and Ivar van Bekkum  (1965 Rotterdam)  focuses on 
movement: to capture the moment when something is about to 
happen, or just happened, or even both… and to make this be 
tangible in their work. They are fascinated by new and 
distinctive ways to depict movement itself. Every 
representation of movement changes again one’s experience of 
space. To show this, that’s what Polak-VanBekkum's work is 
about. Among their projects: Amsterdam REALTIME, 
NomadicMILK, Spiral Drawing Sunrise, Pelagic Seascape et 
Urban Fruit – Street Wrapper. http://www.polakvanbekkum.com/

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