Transmarcations: X is not for destination

Transmarcations experiments with ways to chart heres, wheres and others. This worksession situates itself at the crossing of technologies with geographies, life’s courses, bodies, terrains and deplacements.

Transmarcations invites participants from various disciplines to create prototypes, visualisations and models of speculative body-terrain combinations. Bio-mappers, artists, gender- and migration-activisten, science-hackers, cartographers, data-miners, self-quantifiers ... are welcome to experiment together with softwares, languages, bodies, navigation and other technologies. Transmarcations develops methods and practices around cartography, diagramming, mapping and technological graphical representations that create place for the extra-categorical, the complexities of contact zones in which people, terrains and other agents are related.

Transmarcations is interested in the complexity that emerges when cartography meets bodies in transition. By bodies in transition we mean migrating bodies as well as bodies that engage in an internal process of change, like gender transitions. By taking a closer look at the situation of these bodies, Transmarcations questions the (ir)relevance of standards and the intrinsic presence of cultural codes. What tools do we use ? What language, which parameters, conventions ?

The actual social political context in which the worksession takes place, reminds us that mappings and data-visualisations play an important role in the monitoring of people and motions. Data analyses mark exceptions as suspect. Medical, migration and other standard forms tend to make nuanced representation impossible. People seeking assylum seem to best comply with stereotypical profiles in order to be considered as refugees. Also the complete surveillance of data traffic by (inter)national security services, coupled to the extreme extend to which internet giants profile their customers, leaves little space for diagonal affinities that can widen identitification beyond demarcated camps of ’us’ and ’them’ .

Experimentations that put speculation, insecurity and border crossing in the center are urgent to generate situated, non-normative imaginations of possible alliances between bodies, trajectories and contexts. Beyond statistics and analyses, diagrams, models, charts are also means to set out new orientations, to project hybrid, fantastic, utopic desires unto a physical reality.

Inspired by situated feminist geograpies we question who is looking. Who maps, and from which perspective ? We like to mark a technographical X on a map that is in continuous change. That X does not represent a destination, it stands for a logic that addresses inequal power relations between people, that propagates spaces for freedom with a richer geometry than that of the axis, the production line, the uni directional feed. We situate bodies in space and time, disturb and re-arrange, stroll off the beaten paths and develop a relational practice of disorientations, looking besides the point, out of focus, for unexpected connections between species, surroundings, objects.

The worksession takes place from 4 to 9 December in de Beursschouwburg in the centre of Brussels.

On the program among others :
* Concentrated collective workdays, workshops, moments of exchange (in presence of a.o. Pierre Huyghebaert, Pascale Barret, A. Alexander Antonopoulos)
* Excursions to relevant places in Brussels (like f.ex. The National Geographical Institute)
* An interactive installation that will grow through participation, by François Zajegá in the Grand Hall
* A public evening with lectures in the Beurscafé

In collaboration with Molenbeek Formation and De Beursschouwburg
image : Attack of the panoramic jellyfish, Tom Lechner, cc-sa