The Indeterminate Mapping of the Common

Author: Doina Petrescu

  • The Indeterminate Mapping of the Common


    The Indeterminate Mapping of the Common



This article is about mapping and its paradoxes: mapping as a tool to speak about the indeterminate relationship between humans and space, but also as a means to operate with this indeterminacy. These relationships can be represented, mapped out only if they are performed, acted upon, experienced through. This mapping ‘from within’ which relates the psyche and the body to the physical, the socio-political and the cultural space, has been explored by several art groups and socio-urban practices, starting with the great ‘walkers’ and ‘wanderers’ of history and including the Surrealists, the Situationists and contemporary urban research and media practices. The article takes as an important example the work of the French psychiatrist and educator Fernard Deligny and his methods of mapping ‘autistic space’. ‘Autistic space’ and its tracing brings at its limit the question of indeterminacy within the common experience of space and its representation, a limit that challenges conventional notions of space and community. The main question addressed by Deligny’s work is that of the ‘common’. In a world dominated by the drives of separation (e.g. increasing privatisation, individualism, exclusion, segregation…) what are the means to construct the common? How can different ways of mapping contribute to this construction?

How to Cite:

Petrescu, D., (2007) “The Indeterminate Mapping of the Common”, field 1(1), 88–96.

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Published on
01 Sep 2007
Peer Reviewed