Go: On the Geographies of Gunnar Olsson by Martin Gren, Christian Abrahamsson

By Martin Gren, Christian Abrahamsson

Because the early Sixties, the the world over acclaimed and hugely wonderful Swedish geographer Gunnar Olsson has made colossal contributions to his personal self-discipline. moreover, as a result of transgressive nature of his paintings and writing, which frequently borders to artwork and philosophy, his principles and methods have reached a much broader viewers of these attracted to the historical past and geography of rules, tradition and human reasoning. Olsson's contemporary masterpiece, Abysmal, is a minimalist advisor to the territory of Western tradition. In it, he investigates how cartographical cause permits humans to contemplate and navigate the summary global of invisible human family members, in a lot an analogous means as they may be able to examine and traverse the actual Earth through the use of maps and mapping. This ebook provides a accomplished creation to, and review of, the total diversity of Olsson's geography from the early days of spatial technology to his modern engagement with, and critique of, cartographical reasoning. It contains chosen samples of Olsson's personal writings, together with rarities, including a consolidated bibliography of his guides. It additionally includes serious engagements from prime students equivalent to Michael expensive, Michael Watts, Chris Philo and Marcus Doel, with Olsson's geography, from various views, that are really useful to these readers who already be aware of his paintings. it's dependent and written in a manner that makes Olsson's geography available to a large readership, together with people who are no longer already acquainted with Olsson's paintings.

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When he presents what is needed in order to make a map, the relations to geometry are of course clearly pronounced. All that is needed is three concepts: • a point which remains at rest; • a line better known as a scale or a coordinate-net; and • a plane onto which the merging picture / story is projected (Olsson 2007: 126). For Olsson, all maps are structured around these cartographical primitives; a point which at rest becomes a fix-point, a line which can evolve into a scale or a coordinate-net, and a plane which can serve as a projection screen.

Olsson’s own message is that: the rules of geometry and the rules of thought are one and the same, the implication that whoever holds the keys to the former automatically knows the way also to the latter. ) For those who are interested in a critique of cartographic(al) reason it becomes important to lay bare its structure. By doing so one would possibly then be in a better position to explicate the mode of presentation which philosophers, like Immanuel Kant, lived and therefore could never fully understand.

It is by naming the lines, points and planes that the geometric endeavor is effectively anchored in geography. According to his own definition: “Geography is a Geometry with names” (Olsson 2007: 111). It follows that the technique by which humans are socialized into their own invisible maps of the invisible is essentially one of teaching them how “to name the points, lines and planes” (Olsson 1991b: 87). And so it is that to Olsson the dematerialized land of thought-and-action is ruled by a Centre for Cartographic Socialization, a propaganda institute which is founded on the rhetoric of geometry and whose overall objective is to make the inhabitants geographically obedient and predictable.

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