Maps as objects
in Time for mapping

This chapter considers the implications of recent developments around object-oriented philosophy, the ontological turn and new materialism for the study of maps. Drawing a line from critical cartography to contemporary debates of non-representational and performative mapping, it argues for an approach that goes beyond textual or representational readings to think about how maps invent, affect and perform. With regards to time, this means an examination not of its representation, but of how maps themselves produce particular temporalities. A case study of the PathoMap describes how digital visualisations in the ‘smart city’ help to produce a regime of preparedness. As ‘device’, the map establishes a rhythm with the city, from emergence, to detection, to intervention; closing down the horizon of possible futures. In contrast to this pre-emptive elimination of uncertainty, it is suggested that a critical object-oriented cartography can point to the potential of maps to prompt the speculative provocation of possibility.

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Time for mapping

Cartographic temporalities

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