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Panel and Open Discussion: Imagined Geographies
Robert Graham, Kathy Kennedy, Juan Geuer
January 18, 2007 at 6:00 PM

Imagined Geographies: on artistsí reworkings of the codes and concepts of map-making.

In this panel presentation, scholar Robert Graham reviews ways in which artists have used maps or map-making strategies as icons, as survey, or joined with time to render the human geography of place and pathway; sound artist Kathy Kennedy discusses artistsí use of the web as a repository for kinds of mappings that hold sonic information and artist, scientist and inventor Juan Geuer, whose work appears in Conceptual Cartographies, discusses differentials in the art and science of mapping.


Robert Graham: For “Imagined geographies”, I will review some of the ways in which artists have used maps or map-making strategies: as icons (Johns, Curnoe), as survey (Haacke, Douglas) or joined with time to render the human geography of place and pathway (Long, Sterbak).

Kathy Kennedy: Maps are tools for understanding the world from different points of view - political, cultural, personal, and historical. The web has become a convenient repository for kinds of mapping that hold sonic information. However, this kind of representation is often a far cry from real experience.

Juan Geuer: Cartographic grids and the precise mapping of scientific information are essential for the understanding of the unpredictable dynamics of our planet. I will discuss how that applied to the discovery of plate tectonics and the interpretation and understanding of seismic energy patterns. Interestingly when these systems reach their limit only human artistic ability can lead the way.


Robert Graham was born in Montreal in 1950, where he continues to live and work. Since 1980 he has written on the visual arts for magazines such as Parachute and CV Photo and catalogue essays for the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal and the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography. He has contributed to several instalments of Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal, including curating an exhibition at the Dazibao gallery in 2001. Recently he has written essays on the photographers Roger Lemoyne and Michel Campeau for monographs on their work published by Les editions 400 coups. His current research interests center on mapping as a mode of organizing knowledge

Kathy Kennedy is a sound artist with a background in classical singing. Her art practice generally involves the voice and issues of interface with technology, often using telephony or radio. She is also involved in community art, and is a co-founder of the digital media center for women in Canada, Studio XX, as well as the innovative choral group for women, Choeur Maha.. She currently teaches Sound Art at Concordia University. www.kathykennedy.ca

Juan Geuer is an artist, scientist and inventor. As a professional draftsman with the Dept. of Energy Mines and Resources for 26 years, he was in charge of the mapping of scientific information. In his work he has introduced a new of negative engraving – a concept applied to his artworks presented in Conceptual Cartographies - that increases precision and accuracy, invented a system, the ‘terrascope’, to model and map the dynamics of continents and one of his works applied to model and map energy patterns deriving from earthquakes. His work has been shown at the National Gallery of Canada, the Musée d’art contemporain, Darling Fondry, The Ottawa Art Gallery, the Museum Boymans in Rotterdam, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology among many others.