Project Title:
Experimental cartography – mapping Superfund Sites as social practice

Project Description:
How can maps be used as a tool to communicate the impact and perception of ecological wastelands and prompt public discourse?

We are proposing an experimental art project that uses mapping strategies to artistically transform and critically respond to issues revolving around a Midwestern Superfund site as an ecological extreme. Together with members of the community impacted by the Superfund site, we would like to explore both conventional and experimental (e.g., new media/technological and psycho-geographical) mapping strategies resulting in a variety of possible outcomes: artistic installations, temporary interventions, research and scientific forms and/or the creation of an atlas of the cartographic artifacts. We see these tangible outcomes as discursive objects – engaging the public in a discussion of ecological risk and environmental protection. While McMullen and Winkler will place a primary focus on contemporary artistic strategies we would like to collaboratively shape the possible outcomes of this work to have a strong relevance to faculty from all participating disciplines.

McMullen and Winkler are specifically interested in collaborations with faculty having a background in geography or cartography, GIS, landscape architecture, landscape studies, literature, philosophy, as well as technology related domains (e.g. drone control, environmental sensing systems and robotics).

Organizer Name:
Shannon McMullen, PhD – Assistant Professor, American Studies & Art and Design, Purdue University.
Fabian Winkler, MFA – Associate Professor of Art and Design, Purdue University.
Institutional support: Leigh Raymond, PhD, Professor and Director, Center for the Environment (C4E), Purdue University.

Organizer's Contact Information:
Shannon McMullen (smcmullen [at] purdue [dot] edu), Fabian Winkler (fwinkler [at] purdue [dot] edu),

Here is a brief list of related works that we have found inspirational for what we envision creating:

Mel Chin, Revival Field:

Newton and Helen Mayer Harrison:

Natalie Jeremijenko, Feral Robot Dogs:

Trevor Paglen

Lois Weinberger, weed gardens and portable landscapes:

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A link to our own art and research practice can found here: