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Title:Framing spacetime in the mapping of aerotory
Author(s):Shui, Meng
Advisor(s):Hays, David L.
Department / Program:Landscape Architecture
Discipline:Landscape Architecture
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:Mapping is a process of negotiation, and maps have agency in “uncovering realities previously unseen or unimagined” (James Corner, 2011). One “reality” nowadays much experienced but less “seen,” and therefore less mapped, is the territory of air transportation which provide air travelers with distinct experiences of space and time. I call this realm as “aerotory”. Thanks to mass travel, aerotory is a shared memory among modern human beings on a global scale. It is a sort of place we’ve all been to, yet “there are no maps or guidebooks to this other world” (Pico Iyer, 2004). We are living in a world of the continuum of space and time, an entity of spacetime. However, when it comes to dominant modern measurement of maps, space and time are two discrete ideas. Unlike the ideology of solidity and isolation silently fueled by the modern approach to measurement, which is predicated on the autonomy of things and dichotomies between science and art, culture and nature, objectivity and subjectivity, traditional measurement was integrative; it promoted interrelationship among things: “In medieval Ukraine, for example, farmers would speak of a ‘day of field,’ referring to the area of land that they could physically sow or harvest in one day.” (James Corner and Alex S. MacLean, 2000). Certainly, the actual area would vary according to the condition of the land and the physical capability of the farmer, but a certain consensus would be reached within a group of people, since both of these examples are highly socially derived. Specifically, both are closely bounded by the experience of a specific group with a considerable amount of experience-based knowledge of their land and the temper of local [environmental conditions/weather]. When the field (space) and the day (time) factor through you and reach a recurring rhythm, you are arriving at a state where the object of measuring is neither space nor time but, rather, the event you are performing. In other words, the ideas of space and time get emancipated through focus on the experience. It’s humans’ ability to integrate space and time through experience. And it was from the perspective of experience, sailors developed tools and methods of sea navigation using time as measurement. Inspired by that I established my way to map aerotory. And the visual product, the aerotory map, in return helps giving shape to our understanding of this experience of spacetime.
Issue Date:2016-12-08
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Meng Shui
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-03-01
Date Deposited:2016-12

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