Nov 4, 2009
Years ago the 'Paranoiac-Critical-Coyote' suggested itself from a Portland map. The related article (co-written with Brandon Freels) published on the Portland Surrealist Group's blog, Flying Stone, cited map reading as a form of interpretive delirium. To read that article click on the title above or copy and paste the link below.
I've always enjoyed looking at, and dwelling on maps, not only to learn the areas I'm curious about, but to analyze the shapes and patterns therein. The suggestions of geography tempt the eye.*
When one studies a city as a whole including its outskirts, one sees how the social context has sculpted its terrain and millions labor within the 'model.' This is how the arrangement of buildings and freeways tends to operate. It's built and maintained with a certain kind of circulation in mind. A long process of mass social irresponsibility has left the landscape irrevocably altered, but we can still move through this terrain like shadows, oneiric ethnographers and anomalous phenomena. One can find unique joys in paranoiac-figurative elements on the map, and perhaps discover real time zones or ambient centers that correspond to these larger geographical and oneiric themes. For example, if I were to walk to Kelly Point Park on the tip of North Portland, I would be somewhere on the nose of the Coyote. And so on. This is just one idea. If we don't seize the ability to make space our own, we will more easily forget that the footstep is new each day.
*(I haven't directly referenced the material created by various surrealists and surrealist groups with regard to geography and poetic experience, but interested parties could spend a lot of time going through it. What comes to mind first are the concepts of Atopos developed in Stockholm (and elsewhere) and Exteriority, deveoped in Madrid (and elsewhere).