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Conversational mapping: revaluing the social aspects of art.

Gausden, Caroline; Smith, Helen


Caroline Gausden

Helen Smith


This submission, part audio, part text continues a dialogue between artist Helen Smith and critical theorist Caroline Gausden delivered at the 2014 Mapping Culture Conference in Coimbra, which compared two distinct geographies through the lens of art as a social practice. It approaches the question of cultural mapping from the perspective of artistic research, considering the value of conversation as a methodology within such research and more broadly as an unacknowledged cultural form. In this respect, Michel de Certeau's writing on the speech act is an important reference between the researchers that leads to the inclusion of audio as well as written materials. The audio fragments open up the original dialogue to the voices of participants and social activists in the two contexts discussed. This hybrid form, making use of hypertext to travel in different directions, acknowledges a particular movement between positions often taken up by the artist within social practice. This movement involves the less visible actions of listening and supporting collaborative creativity. This supportive work is compared to artist Mierle Laderman Ukeles' definition of 'Maintenance Art' (1969). By defining and acknowledging the maintenance that accompanies creative works it is hoped that the essay will develop a spiral argument for mapping as a relational and negotiated form.


GAUSDEN, C. and SMITH, H. 2015. Conversational mapping: revaluing the social aspects of art. Hyperrhiz: new media cultures [online], 12. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 1, 2015
Online Publication Date Aug 31, 2015
Publication Date Aug 31, 2015
Deposit Date May 26, 2016
Publicly Available Date May 26, 2016
Journal Hyperrhiz new media cultures
Electronic ISSN 1555-9351
Publisher Hyperrhiz
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Keywords Cultural mapping; Art theory
Public URL


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