Encoding the Landscape: The Le Mans Project

By Jan Piribeck.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper describes a "cultural mapping" project done in Le Mans, France with seven students from Ecole Superieure des Beaux-Arts du Mans and three students from Ecole Superieure Des Geometres et Topographes. The students identified and made work in response to sites in Le Mans that contribute to the cultural fabric of the city, but that somehow get overlooked or lost in the public eye. Art and engineering students collaborated using GIS (Geographic Information Systems) to analyze and map these sites. My intention is to involve students with becoming surveyors and stewards of art and culture within their communities. I am interested in using GIS, a tool of city planners, to put art on the map so to speak.

Keywords: Art, Science, Technology, Geographic Information Systems, Digital Mapping, Community Art

The International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 2, Issue 5, pp.55-62. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.952MB).

Jan Piribeck

Associate Professor of Art, Department of Art, University of Southern Maine, Portland, Maine, USA

My recent work compares artistic and scientific views of the landscape while promoting creative expression and cultural sustainability. I have just completed a one-year sabbatical during which time I developed working models for establishing interplay between visual art and Geographic Information Science. The International Conference on the Arts in Society presents me with a timely opportunity to discuss my work within the framework of computer code, the humanities and community art. The term encoding as used in my paper refers directly to the process of geo-coding, which is the conversion of a location in space into computer readable form. Additionally, I am thinking of encoding as a process by which the landscape is encrypted with aesthetics and other human projections. In this work my teaching practice merges with my artistic practices as I work with students to shape cultural environments.

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