100/10∆10 Mappa Mundi: The Earth Project
The Earth Project draws inspiration from the Institute of Cultural Inquiry's "Earth Cabinet", a collection of dirt specimens from all over the world currently housed in a refurbished communion cabinet. These specimens comprise of dirt, dust, grit, shell, sand and other types of earth material from locations including: Ayres Rock, Australia; Suzhou, China; Stonehenge; the Berlin Wall; Zion, Utah; Jerusalem, Israel; Kanagawa, Japan; Paris Catacombs; the Grand Canyon; Gubbio, Italy; and Giza, Egypt. The "Earth Cabinet" collection brings together a myriad of geographic terrains to reveal where ICI and its publics have visited in the past, as well as where they might go in the future.
Building on the ICI's interest in exploring the intangible and ever-changing phenomenon known as "culture", Mappa Mundi: The Earth Project extends the focus of the "Earth Cabinet" by constructing and supporting an online world map where new spaces for perception, memory, history, and time are created by reinterpreting the practices of visual thinking within contemporary society. The project conceptualizes art as an open, cross-disciplinary culture-building activity, where hybrid forms of cooperation and production can emerge freely within the given form. The project's use of a world map advances ICI's belief that mapmaking is more about creating and revealing connections through the process of discovery than it is about simply charting areas of the world. With the project's open-ended directions to help foster the potentialities inherent in participants' interpretations, the platform of a world map doubles as a public laboratory for cultivating and developing ideas with and through the terra publica.
A unique catalogue will accompany this exhibition, modeled on the New Museum's catalog for its 2008 landmark show After Nature. Catalogs for the 100/10 shows exist as a dustcover enfolding a slightly used copy of a book that has influenced the show's curator and artist. 100/10∆10 uses a small, blank sketchbook with field implements, such as small specimen bags and identification tags, nestled between pages. This empty workbook points back to this project's "potentialities inherent in participants' interpretations" and calls upon individuals to move out into the "field" of the project, the very earth in which we all inhabit. Catalogs can be purchased online in the ICI gift shop.