Published in esse arts + opinions Issue 86 (Winter 2016)
In this essay, I look at Fredric Jameson’s term “cognitive mapping,” introduced in 1984 in the heat of debates on postmodernism, and trace its relevance today. The present era boasts such a concentration of mapping technologies that the key concept of mapping calls for revisiting. Nonetheless, many of Jameson’s observations about the disorienting character of capitalist globalization still ring true. I also suggest that he intended more with the term than diagrams and translations of data points. With his emphasis on the involvement of ideology in concepts of totality, the discussion opens onto other practices of representation.
published June 26, 2016