Marie Cieri: Adventures in Alternative Mapping

International Studies in Planning Spring 2012

Marie Cieri is a social and environmental geographer, cartographer, arts producer, and artist-based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Currently, she is a critic in graduate studies at Rhode Island School of Design and codirects Artists in Context, a nonprofit project that supports creative thinkers from a variety of fields in collaboratively addressing critical societal issues of our time. In her own work, she combines geographic techniques and perspectives with ones drawn from the arts and popular culture to create alternative representations of space and place with populations who have little access to the tools and forums of the public sphere.

Certain circumstances, collaborations, research goals, and/or personal histories can lead us from norms of traditional cartography into experimental territories of mapping as investigation and into alternative modes of representation. In this presentation, Cieri will offer several examples of alt-mapping from her own work as well as others from geography, art, activism, and everyday life. The practice of alternative mapping is not without its challenges and pitfalls, but she hopes to show that, when practiced thoroughly and consciously, it can reveal important and more nuanced insights into situations usually represented as simple, but authoritative, binary information.