Imagining Spaces/Places Conference, August 2011

Imagining Spaces/Places

24−26 August 2011, University of Helsinki, Finland

for more information please follow this link –

Literature and art mediate our experiences of the spaces and places surrounding us as well as within us. In contemporary discussion we usebesides the old term ‘landscape’, other ‘scapes’ which reflect a new interest and new thinking with regard to spaces: we speak of cityscapes, bodyscapes, mindscapes and even memoryscapes, and their relationships to one another. The intertwining of what, of old, was called ‘macrocosm’ (nature and society) and ‘microcosm’ (body and mind) and the role various art forms and media play in articulating and negotiating these chiasmic encounters is the focal point of the Imagining spaces/places conferenceHow are the interfaces between ‘the place in you and you in the place’ depicted? How are these imagined and material landscapes gendered and sexualized?

The conference is organized by the Finnish Doctoral Programme in Art History, the Finnish Doctoral Programme for Literary Studies and the Finnish Research School in Women’s and Gender Studies. (Thanks to Mel for this info.)


Mapping Variances in How People Describe Themselves

R. Luke DuBois has been doing some interesting work with online dating websites.  It may seem like an odd place for an artist to begin a project, but these sites have provided him with a rich source of information about how Americans describe themselves and what they desire in others.  He started a database of the words most frequently used in each profile, sorted them by zipcode, and mapped the most popular word in the place of each city.  This is a short documentary of the project.

The following article includes an interview with R. Luke DuBois about some of the results he found most interesting, focusing on the NYC area.  At the bottom is a series of up-close maps from the project.  Results for each neighborhood range from curious to absurd, but all-in-all, this project offers a surprising way to look at the places we inhabit. a multiple city oral history/mapping project


[murmur] is a documentary oral history project that records stories and memories told about specific geographic locations. We collect and make accessible people’s personal histories and anecdotes about the places in their neighborhoods that are important to them. In each of these locations we install a [murmur] sign with a telephone number on it that anyone can call with a mobile phone to listen to that story while standing in that exact spot, and engaging in the physical experience of being right where the story takes place. Some stories suggest that the listener walk around, following a certain path through a place, while others allow a person to wander with both their feet and their gaze. (Project is in Dublin!)

Into and Session One Videos Now Online

Talks are now available for viewing on youtube! 

??      Introduction to day (with Brendan Gleeson, Nessa Cronin and Karen Till):

??      Session One: Therapeutic Landscapes and Places of Healing
o   Rebecca Krinke, ???Writing/Visiting/Mapping/Talking???: 
o   Ronan Foley, ???Carte Jondo: Representations of the Holy Well???: ‘
o   Victoria Walters, ???Working ???in the Opposite Direction???: Joseph Beuys in the Field???:

Many thanks to Mick Bolger who edited and posted your talks for us on the NUIM Department of Geography youtube webpage!

MST IV, Day 2: Presentations/Excursions at Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin


Thanks to everyone at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) and all the speakers, respondents, and artists who shared their work. IMMA has a artist residency program on site and we toured and talked with artists Tara Kennedy and JoAnn Butler of Culturstruction, John Beattie, John Hawke, and Dennis McNulty. Gerry Kearns of NUIM led an afternoon tour of colonial and postcolonial Dublin.