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have also invested in an evolving relationship

Art with the discipline of geography, its substantive

concerns and its knowledge-making practices.
Harriet Hawkins If art, with its concerns with site and situation,
Royal Holloway, University of London, UK has come to feel especially geographical of late,
this is not a new set of preoccupations. We can
Geographers have never seemed more open to, think, for example, of the intersection of art and
and interested in, art as they have been in the urban theory throughout the twentieth century,
first decade or so of the new millennium. Yet, as well as the broader spatial turn in the arts
geographys relationship with artists and artistic and humanities that found perhaps its clearest
practices is arguably as old as the discipline itself. form over the last two decades (Rendell 2006).
Indeed, to inspect the major phases of geograph- Artists have also long produced artifacts and
ical knowledge-making is to find an important worked with practices, and knowledge (modes
place for artists, artworks, and arts practices. of mapping, exploration, preoccupations with
Moreover, at key phases of geographys devel- place, and so on), that we might more normally
opment, the disciplines relationship with art think of as geographical.
becomes a point of critical formulation, offering There is therefore much common ground
a site of epistemological evolutions that come to between geography and art, shared conceptual
shape disciplinary directions and hone analytic and methodological territory whose occupations
foci (Hawkins 2014). Examples include: artists were not, until recently, explored terribly closely.
onboard ship during the long period of capes As geographys relationship with the human-
and bays geography, the evolving place of artists ities continues to evolve, there is a growing
and writers in the extension and critique of the concern to explore the form and kind of this
chorographic traditions of regional geographies, geographyart relationship. There is interest
the role of art in the evolution of humanistic in mapping the multiple intersections of these
geography, the place of creative practices within expanded disciplinary and practice-based fields,
qualitative GIS, and within questions of the around both substantive topics such as landscape
body and affect raised by nonrepresentational or the body, as well as around common practices
theorists, together with the allied debates around such as mapping, and the geographies of differ-
aesthetics and politics. To overlook this rich ent mediums, whether paintings, photographs,
history is not just to pass over an important sculpture, performance, or community-based
influence on geographys development; it is work (Dear et al. 2012). An ongoing issue
to miss out on the clear analytic value that an has been to attend to the different forms of
appreciation of the diverse roles art has played these artgeography intersections, with dis-
offers for exploring geographys current phase of tinctions being made between dialogues, which
artistic engagement. bring geographic ideas and thinking to bear on
This relationship is not one-sided. Art the- artworks and vice versa, and doings, wherein
orists, artists, curators, and arts organizations geographers and artists collaborate, or work

The International Encyclopedia of Geography.

Edited by Douglas Richardson, Noel Castree, Michael F. Goodchild, Audrey Kobayashi, Weidong Liu, and Richard A. Marston.
2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Published 2017 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
DOI: 10.1002/9781118786352.wbieg0663

separately, to bring artistic practices together and the sites at which they are consumed. The
with geographical practices and procedures of sites and spaces and spatial distributions of artistic
knowledge-making. production, have been explored via a range of
The broad spectrum of research that links methodologies and to a variety of ends. These
geography and art displays a diversity of substan- include economically and politically orientated
tive foci (landscape, urban space, materialities, studies of the networks, clusters, and scenes of
nonhuman geographies, environmental mat- the art world; detailed studies of the geohistories
ters), analytic approaches (iconography, sensory and geopolitics of the international diffusion
ethnography, ethnography), and methodological of artistic materials, styles, and techniques; the
questions. From amidst this diversity emerge sociologies and histories of art school or colonies
three enduring areas of concern: the geogra- of artists, as well as ethnographic studies of the
phies of artworks and art worlds namely the embodied, material practices of studio pro-
production, consumption, and circulation of art; duction (Kaufmann 2004; Sjohlm 2012; Bain
the role of artistic practices in making worlds; 2013).
and the role of artistic practices in geographi- Geographic research on art worlds has often
cal knowledge-making practices and methods taken the spatialities of artistic production as
(Hawkins 2014). These three dimensions are an analytic concern, whether such spatialities
common not only to geography and art rela- be those of local agglomeration clusters or
tionships, but also to creative geographies more the intersecting local and global networks of
generally. As such, they are applicable concerns transnational production, circulation, and cul-
with respect to creative writing, music, film, and tural exchange. Questions of creative clustering
craft practices (Daniels et al. 2012). This is not have developed out of art historical interest in
to collapse important distinctions of method, arts colonies or schools, as well as from the eco-
medium, and politics, but to enable tensions to nomic imperatives of the creative cluster. Here
be drawn out between these different modes. we find artistic outputs shaped by social rela-
tions, common conceptual questions, and shared
inspirational sources. For more economically
Geographies of art worlds inclined scholars these relations translate into
and art-making traded and untraded interdependencies. If
the former consist of connections formed from
Artistic production has long been recognized as sharing, exchanging, or trading (for money,
a situated activity with complex and manifold goods or services) painting materials, framing
geographies. Discussions of such geographies services, and so on, the latter might include the
take account of the role of the art world, as well production of and benefit from the formal and
as the nested sites of studio, home, community, informal social exchanges that constitute a shared
city, nation, and so on (Bain 2013). Geographers creative and intellectual atmosphere. Informing
are very aware that the geographies of art are not these ideas have been discussions around cre-
just those of the initial site of the works pro- ative scenes, whether these be historical studies
duction and consumption, and those places and of the evolution of particular locations or eco-
locations that feature within the works, but are nomic work on creative cities and city branding
also concerned with the circulation of artworks, (Rycroft 2011). Running in parallel with such
the various contexts through which they move, enquiries is research that deploys postcolonial


scholarship and ideas of transnationalism to clear from thinking about this work that the
query the mobilities of people, objects, and ideas geographies of creative production cannot be set
in the production of different art forms from apart from the geographies that the work creates
painting to performance work (Rogers 2014). within the frame, nor from the geographies of
Accompanying work on art scenes is a growing its consumption.
body of geographic scholarship concerned with Geographical scholarship on galleries as a site
the sites, spaces, practices, and technologies of of artistic consumption has not perhaps been
artistic projects, whether these be situated in as voluminous as might be expected. Indeed a
the field, the studio, the street, the community, general trend in geographical scholarship has
or the landscape. Across these sites attention followed artworks as they moved from studio
is paid to the intersections of the material and to situation, being more concerned with the
immaterial dimensions of creative production artworks produced and consumption beyond
to questions of embodied practice and to the studio and gallery sites than with reflecting
role of technologies. Discussions of the stu- critically on gallery spaces. If the geographies of
dio, for example, explore the role of studio galleries have been largely neglected, questions
spaces as sites of inspiration, for thinking and of audiencing have gained attention in the con-
dreaming, for archiving, for identity formation text of art produced and consumed in homes,
(Sjohlm 2012). In discussions of art-making in on streets, in communities and in the landscape.
the landscape, the immediacy of en plein-air While such works might involve a gallery-based
experience in shaping the artworks produced has period of display, often after their initial phase
been a key analytic dimension. In other words, of production and consumption, such later
how the embodied experience of being in the forms of consumption are generally overlooked
landscape informed the works, wherein what is by geographers more intent on studying the
being pictured becomes a more-than-visual transformative effects of these works on the
account of what was sensed. In such a context, spaces and peoples they are produced in and by.
the role of technologies from the camera to An appreciation of the potential of artworks to
the paint-box in mediating and shaping these make worlds demands an analytic sensitivity
relations is an important concern. to the intersections of the geographies of the
In considering artworks made on the street or works production and consumption whether
in the community geographers have embraced these be on the street, in the studio, or in the
the idea of these works as technologies of con- gallery with the geographies within their
nection. Geographers interrogate these works for frames.
the form and kind of connections made between
community and artwork, but also the relations
Artistic practices and the making
within the community that are catalyzed by the
artwork. Such an approach takes seriously the of worlds
social work that these art projects do at the
sites of their creation. Such work might relate That artworks do not so much picture worlds
to border and security concerns, to questions of as make worlds is a central premise for geog-
urban super-diversity, rural community disen- raphers studying art. Looking across the last few
franchisement, or the alienation brought about centuries of geographical relations with art is to
by urban gentrification (Hawkins 2014). It is witness the evolution of geographys appreciation


of the work art does in the world. In short, geographers embrace of aesthetics and geopol-
there is a shift from artworks understood as itics, and physical geographers recognition of
picturing worlds, with the latter verb under- the role of enchantment and the arts in critical
stood to be an act of mimetic representation, approaches to their methods and scholarship
to an appreciation of the force and potential (Hawkins 2014).
of the making of worlds that happens in that The richly varied visual cultures of exploration
picturing (but also of course the sounding and produced during the sea-going voyages of the
performing) of the world. This attention to eighteenth and nineteenth centuries from large
the productive doings of art, its makings and oil paintings to informal sketches in diaries to
shapings of worlds, subjects, and knowledge, has scientifically accurate botanic drawings were
become one of the distinguishing features of valorized for their situated geographies of pro-
geographical scholarship on art. duction. Being produced on the spot such visual
cultures provided privileged forms of evidence.
They were valued over the written word for
Picturing places: geographical imaginations
their production of more perfect accounts
The value of art for providing packets of of places and species than words could create.
information about a place is how expeditionary Crucially such pictures of place were formative
art from the eighteenth and nineteenth cen- building blocks in the geographical imaginar-
turies has often been discussed. In the midst ies of the European Enlightenment era. They
of this Age of Exploration, artists commonly provided not only scientific source material,
accompanied great voyages such as those of but also pictured exotic places and others
Captain James Cook in the service of science for those European populations who could
and empire. Indeed, the casting of aesthetic never hope to travel there. Sent home ahead of
practices in relation to military and commer- explorers, they were hung in galleries, stored and
cial interests, and as part of the production displayed in scientific institutions (including the
of enlightenment science, earned this era of Royal Geographical Society), and reproduced in
artistic practice the moniker the winter of newspapers, their circulation creating globally
the imagination. An important figure in the encompassing geographical imaginaries (Driver
context of exploration art is Alexander Von and Martins 2005).
Humboldt, the eighteenth-century polymath Such geographical imaginations are, of course,
for whom artistic, and aesthetic practices more not neutral picturings of place. Rather, the
generally, were a mode of apprehension equal imaging of places far distant was the result of
to, and indeed a building block of and cata- a complex set of aesthetic geographies, often
lyst for, scientific knowledge. The influence overlaying the terrains of non-Western places
of Humboldts geo-aesthetics can be traced with the pictorial conventions of the Western
into the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century world. William Hodges (17441797) images of
formation of branches of geography as differ- Tahiti, for example, picture the island through a
ent as geomorphology and cultural geography. Western optic, a lens that owes much to the aes-
In geographys twentieth century evolution, thetics of classical Italianate painting. This optic
Humboldts scholarship is a touch-stone for a shaped everything from lighting to composi-
humanistic critiques of a scientized geography, tional layout, the types of plant species included,
and more recently it backstops both human and the mode of picturing the inhabitants of


places. The complex geographies of these imag- regimens, especially when, in addition to being
ined, pictured worlds, importantly, did not just pictured, they came to shape the materialities
take form on the surfaces of the painted canvas, of the landscape. Migrating from the surface of
but also came to find form in the materiality of the painted canvas to the earth, soil, stone, and
landscapes, the textures of social relations, and flesh of rural landscapes and communities, these
the topographies of Western imaginaries that aesthetics re-aligned roadways and coppiced
were created as a result of these paintings. woods, and ensured houses were left to tumble
down in picturesque ruin. Such aesthetic migra-
tions were not just restricted to the national
Landscape art: from iconography environs of their creation, but were rendered
to embodied experience mobile by practices of colonization. The global
The force of painted aesthetics in shaping land- circulation of these aesthetic principles was one
scapes and lives is foregrounded in geographical way in which colonial power was made manifest
scholarship on landscape painting. Scholars such in the landscapes of plantations, and in the lives
as Stephen Daniels (1993) focus on the Marx- and the bodies of their workers.
ist duplicity of the landscape, developing an
interdisciplinary approach that begins from the
Nuggets of experience: more than
Marxist cultural studies scholarship of Raymond
Williams and John Berger. The empirical focus
of this scholarship included the works of great Geographical perspectives on the ideology of aes-
English and American painters of the eighteenth thetics, and the transformative work such aesthet-
and early nineteenth century. The surfaces of ics did on subjects and urban and rural landscapes,
these canvases were examined as veils, aesthetic dominated geographical scholarship on art for
screens drawn across the landscape. Exploring much of the late twentieth century and rightly
both the symbolic codes and the affective and so (Pinder 2005). A parallel understanding run-
emotional qualities of the landscape, its beauty, ning throughout geographys engagement with
sublimity, and order, such aesthetic conventions arts in the twentieth century has been ideas of
were understood to constitute a covering over arts as offering geographers access to experience.
and a turning away from the uncomfortable Yi Fu Tuan (1973) and others writing of geog-
truths of the landscape. In many cases of the raphys relationship with literature and art have
English picturesque in paintings, for example, been rather disparaging of this relationship, sug-
by John Constable, and landscape gardens by gesting that geographers were scanning artistic
Humphrey Repton and Capability Brown this and literary sources for nuggets of experience.
turning away involved the picturing or recre- In moves described as akin to stamp collecting,
ation of a rural idyll, an aesthetic ideology that geographers become merely intellectual middle-
hid from view the dark side of the land- men, seeking subjective accounts of place and
scape, masking the squalid living conditions experience in arts as sources, and sorting them
of the rural poor, their existence at the edge of for collation as data within the chorographic
starvation, and the widespread unrest that existed impulses of the regional geographies of the time.
in the countryside at the time. Such ideological As geographys engagements with art and
picturings of place produced and reproduced, its own theoretical interests evolved, a rather
indeed legitimized, particular types of power different sense of the value of art in relation


to subjective experience has begun to emerge. In such a context artistic practices are the
In the light of a growing interest on the part result of encounters with the landscape and
of feminists, nonrepresentational theorists, and environment, but also create encounters with
others in questions of the body, the senses, affect, landscape and environment for their audiences.
and emotion, arts practices became re-valued. From the recognition that arts practices enabled
Within the context of these concerns painting, geographers and others to explore everyday
sound and installation art, dance, urban walking embodied experiences of being in and moving
practices, video practices, among other arts through the world, recent geographical research
practices, have become situated as sites in which has begun to examine the potential of artworks
geographical sensibilities can become extended to open us out to experiences of the world and
and attuned to our sensing and experiencing move us beyond the capacities of our human
of space and place. These studies often have senses. This is to understand art as potentially
a two-fold imperative: a remapping of bodily creating ways of knowing the world beyond
senses, challenging the privileged position of what is possible for our human cognition and
vision by asserting the value of other senses for our sense organs alone to develop. Art, as a
example, hearing, taste, and touch in knowing result, holds the potential to create encounters
place and self, and by exploring the complex that might open us out to experiences of airy
intersection of these external senses with the and earthy matters, nonhumans, the organic,
internal senses. The second imperative which and the inorganic in ways that are important for
perhaps marks out geographic studies from other shaping our future environmental imaginaries.
approaches, is a concern with how in knowing
space, place, and self, we are not just concerned
with the bodily senses, but also with their
Artistic practices and the production
intersections with questions of habit, memory, of geographic knowledge
and prior knowledge of these and other places
(Hawkins 2014). The place of artistic practices in producing
These ideas of the body have also reconfig- geographical knowledge has evolved since artists
ured the set of analytic modes and questions accompanied explorers on board ships produc-
geographers ask of and with art. If geographical ing rich visual cultures of distant places. From
studies of historical landscape paintings would this foundation based on the valorization of
commonly approach these paintings as a set of mimesis, it is possible to explore the alternative
symbols to be decoded, then recent reconfigura- value that has been found in creative methods
tions attend to art as productive of sensations and for geographers, which have become variously
experiences. For some geographers this resulted understood as creative, experimental, or artful
in a revisiting of ideas of landscape in relation to geographies. Such work sees geographers across
abstract practices. In these works artists engage the discipline coming to embrace various cre-
their embodied experiences of landscape as the ative practices film-making, visual art, creative
subject of their work, creating canvases that are writing both as the means through which
less concerned to picture than to create evocative research can proceed and by which it can be
blocks of sensation and experience that audience communicated and presented.
members feel in their bodies as well as explore Primary among the justifications for practicing
with their minds. such creative geographies is to understand them


as a response to the disciplines orientation the value of arts practices as proffering a means
toward embodied and practice-based doings. by which to constitute new and engaged publics
Such orientations demand the means by which for their work. Thus we see geographers creating
to engage, research, and re-present the sensory plays, developing arts workshops, and configur-
experiences, affective atmospheres, and flows ing creative activities based on the recognized
of life. Geographers development of artistic social work that aesthetic practices have been
practices, either alone or in collaboration, is understood to do. As well as being driven by
understood as a means to enable such messy, intellectual agendas, such practices should also
fleshy, and experiential modes of engagement to be situated in the context of the contemporary
be explored and developed. Furthermore, cre- political agendas and climates of higher educa-
ative writing practices offer a means by which to tion wherein concerns with moving research
begin to write about, to grasp, such experiences beyond the academy, and thinking through
and convey them to others. politics in a new way loom large. Where perhaps
For other geographers engagement with the there is work still to be done is around the seem-
artful proffers the means to grasp the messy, ing absence of a more critical radical politics
unfinished, and contingent in everything from these creative geographies (Marston and
from spatial imaginaries to knowledge-making De Leeuw 2013).
practices that a more scientistically inclined
geography might orient us away from. Artful
engagements might include critical reflections GeoHumanities: looking to the future
on the spaces and sites of the archive and other
knowledge-making institutions; they might
Geography has had something of a return toward
reflect a concern with how we know and write
art and arts practices, as both empirical objects
about places and spaces; or they might be a
of study and as the methods by which research
response to an epistemological turn within
geography that seeks to do away with categories, can proceed, and through which it can be
binaries, and fixities, in favor of multiplicities, disseminated. Furthermore, art practices and
hybridities, and becomings. Rightly, or wrongly, theories have never seemed more geographically
geographers across the discipline, whether his- engaged. The result has been a ground-swell
torical, concerned with nonhuman relations in of practice and attention to what has come
the Anthropocene, or with modes of contem- to be called the GeoHumanities, with these
porary urban living, have found value in artistic intersections becoming increasingly institution-
practices and creative methods as a means to alized in interdisciplinary masters courses, in
confront the epistemological challenges they practice-based doctoral work undertaken within
encounter at their research sites. geography departments, as well as in the evolving
A further reasoning behind geographical collaborative research practices of academics and
engagements with creative methods has been artists (Dear et al. 2012).
in terms of the contemporary extension of the If these productive intersections are to con-
long appreciated possibilities such methods offer tinue to fulfill their not inconsiderable promise
for enrolling audiences other than academics. there are a number of perhaps self-explanatory,
Long recognized to form affective means of and also perhaps not so self-explanatory issues to
communication, scholars are now recognizing consider. The first of these relates to an ongoing


need to be clear and respectful about the knowl- audiences. This is to become attuned to the
edge and practices being deployed and developed political possibilities, but also the responsibility
in these intersections. Geographers may like the associated with the art that geographers study,
idea of being artists, writers and film-makers, the creative practices deployed within their
but enthusiasm should not outweigh a concern research methods, and the artworks that they
for the skillful nature of these practices. Equally, might be involved in creating.
there should perhaps be a shared sense of such
intersections not only being based in comings
SEE ALSO: Cultural geography; Cultural
together that are predicated on the in common
turn; GeoHumanities; Humanistic geography;
and the collapse of differences. One of the
Imaginative geographies; Interdisciplinarity and
delights of finding similar interests in practices
geography; Landscape iconography and
of mapping, of exploration, or in ideas and terms
perception; Nature, art, and aesthetics; New
such as region, topography, or vision has to
cultural geography; Nonrepresentational theory;
be also to commit to probing the differences
Phenomenology; Representation;
between these understandings. This is not to
Situationists/situationist geography; Visuality
create rifts within newly formed relations, but
to ensure their intellectual integrity, and also to
aid in the mutual development and evolution of References
such ideas.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, in these
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