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Call for papers
On the Inhabitability of Cartographic Worlds

International symposium
Worlds, Interfaces and Environments in the Digital Era

December 11, 12 & 13, 2017
Submission deadline : October 1st, 2017

University of Paris 8, Saint-Denis, France
Archives nationales, Pierrefitte, France


This international and transdisciplinary symposium has been organized as part of the pluriannual project “Worlds, Interfaces and Environments in the Digital Era” endorsed by Labex Arts-H2H in partnership with Archives Nationales and EnsAD.


Explorers have built their dreams upon the failings of maps. Some of those failings have been the objects of cartographic quests over decades and they now fall under the realm of fiction. They have searched for the remains of Noah’s Ark, the Eldorado, Terra Australis or the canals on Mars. If explorers have spent their lives striving to map out blanks, we for one spend ours caught within cartographic modes of being that we literally feed with our data and optimize through our travels and exchanges. The time of screens has no doubt entailed a massive and extraordinarily diverse use of maps: geographic maps of all sorts of scales and uses, data visualization maps, maps of our brains. Why maps in the end? Why such a multiplication of maps on our devices? What for and to what extent do they change our ways of thinking and our sensitivity? Such multiple and various uses combine with the quest for new and innovative modes for the appropriation of cartographic data in technical, cultural, patrimonial and memory-related fields. Those who produce such maps and those who are in charge of their conservation through time, archivists namely, pursue the same quest. The latter sometimes act toward the promotion, the study and the scientific and artistic valorization of old documents, be they “beautiful” or not, abstruse or transparent, often bearing a charge that is as much symbolic and poetic as fraught with History.


Are we incorporated within the map as much as we incorporate the data contained within the map? When we bring it close to our sensory organs (eyes, skin, ears), does cartography become a second skin? Does it stand for an operable and alternative Earth whose materials computed by algorithms and sought after by companies who strive to fashion the way we represent the world are worth gallons of gold? To the extent that it would seem nothing stands outside of the map any longer. What is left of what used to be outside? What is left, then, of our relationship to concrete expanses insofar as such an endeavor consists in abstracting ourselves from the world? In other words, does a topographic approach amount to obliterating the world, or at least to reducing it to a mere locus as opposed to a matrix (topos vs. khôra)? Should we then follow Augustin Berque in thinking that “such spatialization has muted the song of the world. […] It has congealed its poem, emptying it out of its poetry?” Or is it quite the reverse with the advent of new (technical) modes of producing possible worlds, which would constitute a new way of inhabiting the flows? Where are the dead angles and the white zones located on our maps? Do invisible spaces still exist? What can resist the captures of the totality of the informational landscape? Where lies what cannot be mapped? The irreducible?


Please submit your abstracts via EasyChair (link below) as well as a brief bio-bibliographical note before October 1st, 2017 : https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=mapping2017
Do not forget to upload your abstract in PDF format (no more than 500 words). The working languages of the symposium will be French and English. Contributions may be submitted in either language and should not exceed 500 words.


The scientific committee will make its decision public before October 10, 2017. For further information, you may write to mapping@univ-paris8.fr
Organizers : Pierre Cassou-Noguès (Paris 8), Lucile Haute (Université de Nîmes), Arnaud Regnauld (Paris 8), François Sebbah (Paris 10), Gwenola Wagon (Paris 8).
Labex Arts-H2H

The Laboratory of Excellence in Arts and Human Mediations is part of the “Investments for the future” program since 2011. As part of this program, its members conduct research following three main lines: situations, technologies, hybridization.

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