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Clifford McLucas - There are ten things I can say about deep maps...

Published onAug 10, 2021
Clifford McLucas - There are ten things I can say about deep maps...

Clifford McLucas (1945 - 2002) was born in Wetherby and trained as an architect in Manchester. In 1974 he moved to Wales where he worked as a designer with a particular interest in the creation of installation pieces that emphasised growing interest in the performative aspects of this work while working with the Aberystwyth Arts Centre. After joining the Welsh Arts Council’s Film Committee and working in arts residences with local schools he joined the experimental performance company Brith Gof, of which he would eventually become artistic director. Further biographical details are available on the Dictionary of Welsh Biography.

In 2000 McLucas was awarded a year long Senior Research Fellowship at Stanford University, California where he developed a proposal for the Three Landscapes Project alongside the theologian Dorian Llywelyn and archeologist Michael Shanks. It was during this time that McLucas developed his understanding the deep map:

There are ten things that I can say about these deep maps.

First. Deep maps will be big – the issue of resolution and detail is addressed by size.

Second. Deep maps will be slow – they will naturally move at a speed of landform or weather.

Third. Deep maps will be sumptuous – they will embrace a range of different media or registers in a sophisticated and multilayered orchestration.

Fourth. Deep maps will only be achieved by the articulation of a variety of media – they will be genuinely multimedia, not as an aesthetic gesture or affectation, but as a practical necessity.

Fifth. Deep maps will have at least three basic elements – a graphic work (large, horizontal or vertical), a time-based media component (film, video, performance), and a database or archival system that remains open and unfinished.

Sixth. Deep maps will require the engagement of both the insider and outsider.

Seventh. Deep maps will bring together the amateur and the professional, the artist and the scientist, the official and the unofficial, the national and the local.

Eighth. Deep maps might only be possible and perhaps imaginable now – the digital processes at the heart of most modern media practices are allowing, for the first time, the easy combination of different orders of material – a new creative space.

Ninth. Deep maps will not seek the authority and objectivity of conventional cartography. They will be politicized, passionate, and partisan. They will involve negotiation and contestation over who and what is represented and how. They will give rise to debate about the documentation and portrayal of people and places.

Tenth. Deep maps will be unstable, fragile and temporary. They will be a conversation and not a statement.

McLucas’ ‘Ten things’ provide one of the most succinct but expansive guides outlining the contours of deep mapping and the deep map can be.

The above text is reproduced from the Clifford McLucas website which is now archived by the Web Archive.

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