Chatter Marks

EP 027 How mapping affects our perspective and understanding of land and our place in the world

November 29, 2021

Joining this conversation are artists Stuart Hyatt, Dan Mills and Christina Seely. Stuart uses sound to understand our relationship with the natural world. Dan uses maps in paintings and collages as a way to explore ideas of historic and current events, including issues like colonialism. Christina uses photography to address the complexities of both built and natural global systems. All of their work—Stuart, Dan and Christina—is featured in the Anchorage Museum’s exhibition “Counter Cartographies: Living the Land,” which challenges our traditional understanding of what a map is.

Often, maps are viewed as objective and above reproach, but maps—just like any piece of art—come with the bias of their makers. They can be made with the intent of acquiring land and resources, as has historically been the case. So, it’s important to consider how they affect our perspective and understanding of land and our place in the world. It’s also important to consider ways we can re-imagine the traditional idea of mapping because an image can’t always document or express the reality of a place.

Artwork by Dan Mills

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