Mapping Spectral Traces Symposium

Clockwise from Top Left: Mapping Spectral Traces collaborators at MST IV in 2011. Talya Chalef, In Other Words. Iain Biggs, Warplands: Performing Cartographies. Rebecca Krinke, Present Moment.

With colleagues from around the world, Landscape Architecture Professor Rebecca Krinke at the University of Minnesota has launched a new website for the unique academic-artist collaborative known as Mapping Spectral Traces.

As the website notes, Mapping Spectral Traces is a “trans-disciplinary, international group of scholars, practitioners, community leaders and artists who work with and in traumatized communities, contested lands and diverse environments. As part of a commitment to socially engaged creative practice, network members have worked collaboratively and individually on projects that ‘map’ the unseen and unacknowledged difficult pasts that continue to structure present-day social relations. Acknowledging and addressing this emotive layer of the present and the past in contemporary life — in our cities, landscapes, and in ourselves — is a primary concern of this network.”

The network facilitates dialogue on “the role of the visual and performing arts in addressing such relevant concerns as ecological activism, ‘deep mapping’, place-based memory work, trauma, postcolonial geographies and related topics.”

After a series of international events and publications, Krinke and colleagues will host a symposium and exhibition at the University of Minnesota and various Twin Cities sites in October 2012.

“The exhibition and public engagement events will be looking at these often unacknowledged layers of past and present,” said Krinke. “Bringing these issues more toward the surface is a step toward increased understanding, knowledge and empathy. In turn, this may hold the potential to begin an ethic of empathy in how we talk about the land and living on the land, past and present.”

For information on the network’s upcoming and ongoing activities — including community and public art projects, exhibitions, performances, publications, seminars and more — visit the Mapping Spectral Traces website.

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