The Map, The Mobile and the Body
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In this thesis the concept of performance cartography is researched in the realm of mobile mapping, an activity that has become more popular through enhanced technology. Specifically, the mobile application Layar is used to understand the changing relationship between the user and maps. Within this context, the performative will be investigated in two ways. Firstly, performance cartography is related to the act of mental mapmaking, where mapping can be understood as an activity in which information derives directly from our cognitive „databases‟. As enhanced technology increasingly enables the user to add cognitive information, it is imperative to investigate this process in more detail. In my thesis, I propose to look at these cognitive „databases‟ through a framework of the „theatre of memory‟ as suggested by Giulio Camillo where several databases intersect through the act of spatial movement. I here encounter my second point of investigation, namely performance cartography as an act of performance: the (embodied) act of staging in a specific time and place. The memories captured within both Layar and the user are only to be awakened by an interaction that includes the entire body; for it is the body that enables the user to navigate through the map. Within this section, the here- and nowness of mapping is discussed, which is specifically an interesting issue when looking at the current development of mobile mapping systems and applications. Both technological and physical (in terms of embodiment) relations are investigated, as both elements are crucial to the act of this type of performing: without mobile technology there would not be such an application as Layar, and without the intervention of a body, there would be no interaction at all. Throughout this thesis, Actor Network Theory and the rhizome form the leading basis of the arguments; they provide a framework in which the network of transformations is revealed that appears to be crucial to a thorough understanding of the experience within performance cartography.