Space and Place Research Hub presents: Arrivals and Departures Symposium

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18 May 2018

Friday 18 May
Lecture Theatre C 

Free and open to all.
Please RSVP via Eventbrite.


PLEASE NOTE: If you are ONLY attending the Cartographic Abstraction in Contemporary Art book launch and not the day’s symposium – please do not use this registration page but rsvp instead to and


At the event, we will discuss inhabiting and moving through spaces and places. We demarcate arrivals and departures as time-based experiences of those notions at domestic, urban and geopolitical scales. We will explore the politics and poetics of a range of arrivals and departures; from navigating cityscapes, to migration and border crossings. We are also open to considerations of disciplinary boundaries and movements. As a hub, we are interested in how design as a field of practice and research can interrogate the world we live in.


More about the book launch and the author can be found here:

Claire Reddleman is an academic and photographic artist who gained her PhD in cultural studies from Goldsmiths, University of London. Her book ‘Cartographic Abstraction in Contemporary Art: Seeing with Maps’ is published by Routledge and introduces the theoretical innovation ‘cartographic abstraction’ – a material modality of thought and experience that is produced through cartographic techniques of depiction. Reddleman closely engages with selected contemporary artworks (by artists Joyce Kozloff, Layla Curtis, James Bridle, Trevor Paglen and Bill Fontana) and theories in each chapter. Reconfiguring the Foucauldian underpinning of critical cartography towards a materialist theory of abstraction, cartographic viewpoints are theorised as concrete abstractions. This research is positioned at the intersection of art theory, critical cartography and materialist philosophy.

Claire is currently a postdoc researcher on the AHRC-funded project ‘Postcards from the Bagne’, led by Sophie Fuggle at Nottingham Trent University. This project engages with the legacies of the former penal colonies in French Guiana and New Caledonia, and includes taking a cartographic approach to understanding the multiple sites belonging to the penal colony and the connections both historical and contemporary between these sites. The research is also interested in how these sites are ‘imagined’ cartographically within the context of historical travel writing and journalism and as part of an emerging global penal tourism.

Also speaking will be Layla Curtis, whose work ‘Antipodes’ is discussed in ‘Cartographic Abstraction in Contemporary Art: Seeing with Maps’. Layla Curtis is an artist whose practice has a focus on place, landscape and mapping. Her multi-form work examines the attempts we make to chart the earth, how we locate ourselves, navigate space and represent terrain.

Layla Curtis will discuss her mobile phone app Trespass. Trespass provides users with an oral history of Freeman’s Wood; an area of edgeland situated on the outskirts of Lancaster, England that has been used for decades by local people for recreation. The land is currently owned by an offshore property company who recently erected a metal fence around the plot, barring locals from entering under threat of breaking trespass laws.


The app uses geo-location to identify where users are in relation to the boundary of Freeman’s Wood and uses geo-fencing technology to restrict access to most of the audio content. Access to all thirteen audio tracks is only granted if the listener chooses to trespass, crossing both the physical fence, and the app’s virtual geo-fence, into Freeman’s Wood. Trespass was commissioned by StoreyG2 as part of Landed (Freeman’s Wood). App is developed by Ron Herrema.