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Konst och kartläggning kring 1970: Modell, diagram och karta i konstens landskap
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Culture and Aesthetics.
2015 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Art and Mapping around the year of 1970 : Maps, Models, and Diagrams in the Artistic Landscape (English)
Abstract [en]

The years around 1970 saw the emergence of an artistic fascination with maps and mapping. In the present thesis this fascination is conceptualised as a mapping impulse, acknowledging how the discourses of art and mapping, respectively, intertwine and merge. The aim of the study is to analyse this mapping impulse and to identify recurring themes and concepts in artworks and texts on art where maps and mapping processes are used as a visual expression and method. 

In order to demonstrate how the scope of the thesis is shaped by later interpretations of art from around 1970, three exhibition publications from three decades are examined to illustrate how boundaries between the discourses of art and of mapping are renegotiated from the late 1960s up until the 2010s.

The representing line of the map is analysed via the concepts of diagrams, maps, and models, such as the re-appearance of Claude Shannon’s and Warren Weaver’s Communication Model in the Swedish late 1960s, Öyvind Fahlström’s World Map (1972), and Sten Eklund’s paintings on glass from 1968 where he transfers ideas from Wittgenstein’s Tractatus into visual representations.

The procedural aspects of encounters between the discourses of art and of mapping from around 1970 are analysed in Hans Haacke’s Gallery-Goers’ Birthplace and Residence Profile Pt. 1 and Sten Eklund’s Kullahusets hemlighet (The Secret of Kullahuset). The latter work is interpreted in the light of the role of the mapping, surveying individual, and in a figurative sense, the individual in the system. Here, the concept of alienation is used, as the work delineates the mapping subject who itself is being subject to mapping. 

In this thesis the mapping impulse is identified as a way to deal with territory and truth in Western art around 1970. The map as a sign system and a practice is representative of a recent stage where art in various ways deal with a world undergoing rapid change. The mapping impulse circa 1970 can be identified as a visual regime of cartographic reason, characterized by legibility, clarity and lucidity. This also suggests alternative interpretations of the impact of the linguistic turn in the art of the 1960s and early 1970s, revealing a more ambiguous relationship between text and image. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm och Göteborg: Makadam Förlag, 2015. , 196 p.
Keyword [en]
Conceptual art, maps, mapping, art and cartography, art and mapping, visual culture, art and science, scientific images, art and cybernetics, alienation, the linguistic turn, Agnes Denes, Sten Eklund, Hans Haacke, Öyvind Fahlström, Richard Long, Yoko Ono, Robert Smithson
National Category
Art History
Research subject
Art History
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-121726ISBN: 978-91-7061-192-6OAI: diva2:860804
Public defence
2015-12-10, hörsal 8, hus D, Universitetsvägen 10 D, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2015-11-18 Created: 2015-10-13 Last updated: 2015-11-18Bibliographically approved

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Uggla, Karolina
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