This project is concerned with the cultural importance of mapping for the development of society. More precisely, the project explores how changing perceptions of "nature", of topography and landscapes shape the practice of mapping and cartographic work, and vice versa: how people´s relation to their environment changes through social negotiations of mapping. A central question concerns the history of the idea of space as a changeable entity, and the relationship between this process and modern regimes of harvesting the potentials of nature, transforming it from an alien and threatening other to a subdued and exploitable resource. What was the role of mapping and cartography in this relationship, and how did their practices change with their objects - and subjects?
Our aim is to establish a multidisciplinary, international framework and network to answer our research questions, while at the same time adressing issues of contemporary politics and social processes. "Negotiating Space, Arranging the Land" is posited within the thematic priority area "people/society and the natural environment" but is not restricted to this label, as it deals with a wider prism of multicultural, mediated, economical and technological environments.
We plan two development s eminars in Oslo 2012 and Berlin 2013, that will lead to a more comprehensive project application in the winter of 2013/14. During this phase of networking we will identify what kind of maps and mapping projects that are important to the emerging research questions.