Mapping Myself into My World
“Your focus determines your reality” Quigon Jinn – Star Wars
“Energy flows where attention goes” - anonymous
Culture is a socially constructed map for living. Maps, like art, (image, story, dance, song), focus consciousness by emphasizing particular ideas / objects / places, and defining our relationships to them. When we consider and create art from this perspective, the elements of a creative composition become understandable as points in a cultural/personal map of the universe, or some small part of it.
The earliest cultural maps were connected to the natural world, where human survival depended upon our ability to negotiate and utilize the landscape. These maps defined cultural relationships to the environment, and these relationships are often predominant features in the arts of band or tribal scale societies.
Part 1: make a map of some part of your physical world and life. For example: map all the places you go this week and the path you take to get there and back again. Be mindful of how you represent these things on your map. How does the manner of representation influence the meaning and feel of both the map and the place?
Part 2: Make a “work” of art that brings you into direct relationship with one of the places/spaces on your map. Design an activity that you will engage in with your surroundings that will focus and transform your relationship to them. Take care that the process as much as the product, are the foci of your activities. Carefully document your work/process.
Example: Making or revealing a sacred space. The hallmark of the sacred is that it is treated differently from the rest of the world.
Maps, both physical and conceptual, are essential to human survival. They tell us where we are, the potential places that we can go, how we can get there, and what we should pay attention to along the way. Consequently, maps are also outstanding metaphors for culture. Just...