Assignment: Tunnel Vision

DUE Monday Sept 26

Mapping is about making choices — what to include in the map versus all the many things that wil be omitted from it.  The omissions are very important; if too much information is included, the legibility of the map decreases (there is a graph here, waiting to happen…) One can increase “resolution” as a means of combating lost legibility without sacrificing quantity of data, but the end point of this is equally unhelpful — the map of a country in 1:1 scale in the Borges story.

Thinking of the This American Life episode about cartographer Denis Wood (and the related website as well as his book of maps of Boylston Heights, which will remain in the design Studio) make 5 very specific, “single-use” maps of campus, or a specific section of campus.  If you use a section of campus rather than the whole, it should be the same section for all 5 maps.  This assignment is about making obsessively single-use maps — to the point that, when taken individually, they might not be useful at all, or are useful for only one specific action or task.

As always, your individual response is paramount in both the choices of what things you will obsessively map, and in the presentation of them to the class (see below.)  We are interested in the ideas this project evokes in each of you individually, and in the continued creation of maps with narrative potential, this time arising from their intense focus on a single narrative thread, idea, task or goal.

Your maps should be posted to the site not later than 7am on Monday, September 26th.


Class presentation (Monday, September 26):  using yourself and one additional person from class, but with no pre-rehearsal, present to us the story of, or a story arising from, two or more of your Tunnel Vision maps.  You should plan out this presentation-performance in advance, including how you want to use your second person, but you must be able to communicate to your additional performer what you want them to do and when in only a few minutes.  As a class you will have a block of time (15 mins or so) to sort out and practice all five presentations, then we will have all of the presentations at once.

Attached is a PDF of an aerial survey of campus, scaled for 11×17 output (the same as the hard copies given out in class.)

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