Week 8: Mapping Climate

On Monday we’ll begin the next project,  Mapping Climate. In the morning we’ll discuss Trevor Paglen’s article Experimental Geography: From Cultural Production to the Production of Space, so please read the article thoroughly before you come to class. We’ll also listen to an excerpt from This American Life: Mapping (see link below), watch some of A Road Not Taken, by Swiss artists Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller, and see some artist projects dealing with mapping and spatial practice. 

The afternoon will be used for structured group brainstorming and beginning the project. You’ll need to bring paper and something to write and draw with, and if you have a laptop, you may want to bring this as well.

Guidelines for the project and some things to think about as you begin are below – 

Project: Mapping Climate

Create a map that will serve to illuminate a complex element of your environment that is linked to the greater issue of climate change. In developing this project, consider ways that mapping is used to better understand climate issues and how these same techniques can be used to investigate an aspect your own experience. Take into account the aesthetic choices that will be a vehicle for information, the natural bias inherent in mapping and how this map will be used. (i.e.: as artwork, as activism, as information).

Choose an aspect of climate change that interests you, such as migration, sea level rise, energy use, alternative technology, social solutions, etc. Consider the possibility of utilizing resources, learnings, or methodologies from other fields you are studying or engaged with. Conduct primary research on an aspect of climate change we have discussed, and use the evidence of your research. Beyond a two-paragraph proposal due next week, the final form of the project is up to you. You can collaborate if you choose to (see note on collaborative project grading).

Assignment: For next week’s class, write a two-paragraph proposal for your project. We’ll read these aloud at the beginning of class. The assignment to bring three books to class for the Collaborative Library has been moved to March 22nd. 


This week’s links are about mapping and spatial practice. Some relate directly to climate, while others less so. The below projects include and go beyond cartography and drawing to film, installation, and social practice.


This American Life: Mapping


Spatial practice/pedagogy

Critical Spatial Practice

The Center for Urban Pedagogy

Just Space(s)

Lost Landscapes of Detroit



The Other Night Sky, Trevor Paglen

Flight Transect Basin of the Gulf, Peter Fend

Mark Dion | “Neukom Vivarium” | Art21 Blog

Tate Collection | Tate Thames Dig by Mark Dion


Pruned Blog


Drawing/mapping/information visualization

mark lombardi @ pierogi 2000

Mark Lombardi

The Story of Cap and Trade

Fallen Fruit: A Mapping of Food Resources in Los Angeles

superfund365, Brooke Singer

GOOD Magazine – Most popular infographics of 2009









2 Responses to “Week 8: Mapping Climate”

  1. Stina Peek Says:

    The Center for Urban Pedagogy, is a really exciting approach to combining the arts and education. Each project seems to cover accessible issues which make them more likely to engage students. The projects also require students to step out of the comfort of their school grounds and put things like critical thinking, research and thinking outside of the box into practice.

    I’m working on a project examining the appropriation and use of best practices in arts education. The work from this center will serve as a very tidy supplement to my research work.

    Interested to see how the students’ mapping of information serves as an example for our studies in Art+Climate.


  2. Stina Peek Says:

    in case folks yet know about this mapping, it might prove to be handy for some snacking on free fruit.

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