Our Final Projects


Yet another semester online, yet another group of 22 amazingly dedicated, creative, intellectually generous, mutually supportive students representing ten or so programs from across The New School! Rather than working around our geographically distributed, mediated condition, we sought to center it — to map and reflect on the social and technical and ecological networks that connect us. Those same networks allowed us to welcome a host of fantastic guests: Garrett Dash Nelson, Curator of Maps and Director of Geographic Scholarship, Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library, joined us on February 2 to share a wide range of materials from their collection; critical cartographer David Garcia (@mapmakerdavid) joined us on February 9 to discuss (anti-)colonial mapping and cartographic ethnography; Candace Fujikane joined us on March 2 to discuss their fabulous new book, Mapping Abundance for a Planetary Future: Kanaka Maoli and Critical Settler Cartographies in Hawai’i; Johanna Drucker, Rasheedah Phillips, Mark Rifkin, and Daniel Rosenberg joined us on April 20 to talk about “mapping time”; and Reger Ramos joined us on May 4 to talk about their wonderful cüirtopia project! Our fabulous teaching assistant, Emily Bowe, led us through some fantastic mapping labs, and three thematic student groups designed a few of our sessions, complete with thoughtfully conceived mapping exercises.

This was a difficult year. Some of us lost loved ones, some of us got sick, some of us were dealing with family trauma, all of us were frustrated by a year on Zoom and exhausted by the compounding stresses of 2020. (Some of us coped by welcoming into our homes new pets, who then made frequent, highly anticipated appearances on screen.) Still, we managed to ask questions that were timely and resonant and personally meaningful — and to propose some partial answers to those questions in a collection of atlases. Here’s what each student created:

“Presented using natural materials, Amina’s ‘Nature + Nurture: Origins’ explores the international histories of Forest Kindergartens and related nature-based learning approaches. The materials used are designed to tap into the sensory experience of being in a forest setting, while the different representations offer various perspectives on how to navigate the histories both spatially and temporally.”

Angelica’s “How did I get here? A rhizomatic unmapping of urban trees” “draws inspiration from the mapping practices of Tao Leigh Goffe, Candace Fujikane, and Annette Kim to center subjective and embodied experiences of place, and of trees in particular. Oriented around the theme of the rhizome, the project tries to enact and bring into being a kind of speculative urban mycorrhizal network: in urban contexts that typically lack the fungal mycorrhizae that nourish and maintain connections between trees and plants, the project seeks to both envision and begin to re-weave such connections. Knitting together disparate places, histories, memories, and sensory experiences, my hope is that it offers a way to understand urban natures otherwise — moving beyond “ecosystem services” and “annual benefits” and towards relationality and interdependence.”

Anna’s “Epistemic Disobedience” “is an atlas and counter-archive on early 20th-century cultural performances at the world’s fairs. Through a series of multisensorial works, Anna seeks to disrupt the myth of historical linearity and to introduce other ways of knowing, seeing, and feeling about this history and its afterlives.”

Ashley’s “Exploring Foodways + Infrastructures of East New York” “incorporates multiples modes, mediums, methods for framing cartographic information to engage in imagining desired futures. Utilizing QGIS, digital cartographic compositions, and field surveying, this atlas engages the viewer to explore existing and potential neighborhood assets towards self-determined foodways for East Brooklyn.”

“Moving outside of the cartographic realms, the idea of Bhavya’s Unheard Voices is to explore new ways to map the qualitative stories of Migrant Women of Mumbai affected by the COVID-19 pandemic using a mixed media approach.”

Blake’s “Homeokin in Practice: Building Queer Futurity” “tries to map a queer futurity by engaging with the concept of homeokin. It also invites others to participate and map their own notions of queer futurity, thus expanding the geographic footprint of homeokin.”

The maps that compose Cate’s “Grave Atlas: Toward a Taphonomic Cartography of Clandestine Burial” “move toward a more taphonomic cartography of mass graves, one which charts the imbrication of ecological, social and political forces, the silences and erasures, the structures and ruptures by which mass graves are formed and uncovered. Through vellum, archival materials, and a variety of mapping techniques, this atlas seeks to extend our seminar discussions, on the mapping of multiple temporalities and the ethics of mapping violent histories, cartographically, placing them in dialogue with the call of activist kin of the disappeared to keep these histories unsettled and the memory of the missing alive.”

Daniel’s “‘Atolling’ Sovereignty” is “a project that reflects upon the growth of a coral atoll to reflect the need for growth for intersectional environmental activism that focuses on the Marshall Islands and the Pacific. The series of maps reflect upon the layered nuclear, military, and other histories that create that forms a genealogy of environmental disasters and amplify impacts of anthropogenic climate change, and provides a place for climate activists themselves to tell their own stories on this platform.”

Erin’s “‘Mapping Poverty at Scale’ explores the global quantification of poverty across multiple scales and temporalities. Beginning with the “view from nowhere” that characterizes both the seemingly omnipotent statistics of global poverty and their visual/material instantiation in poverty maps, the project explores the affective, embodied, and non-linear temporalities of measuring and mapping poverty.”

“‘Querdenken’ is a network of German covid-deniers and conspiracy theorists born out of the Covid-19 crisis.” Franzi’s “Mapping the German Conspiracy Milieu” explores “different spatial aspects of their online-presence and use of the communication platform Telegram.”

Galen’s “Atlas: Wildfire, A Changing Landscape & A Formation of Spirit” “attempts to scale between artistic, and personal understandings of wildfire to the more concrete and ‘objective’ ramifications of wildfire’s destructive impact on parts of the city of Santa Rosa in Northern California. Additionally, in the process of creating this atlas, [Galen] wanted to renew [his] own spirit of reciprocity and “rootedness” towards a local landscape and the force of a changing and perennial wildfire.”

Jason’s “Placing Racial Consciousness” examines how “race, racism, and supremacy have been massive forces in forming and reforming society’s places, spaces, markets, and stories. A small group of white folks think about how they might place points of their journey to understanding race on a map, as a way to explore how personal story overlaps with shared stories and how personhood interfaces with spatial systems of exploitation. Their mapped answers under open categories intentionally problematize the ‘normalcy’ of whiteness and seek to creatively inquire: where do we learn about race?”

Jessie’s “NYC Honorary Street Names” argues: “We are what we remember. This project is a negotiation between urban grid systems and local memories, between computational methods and humanistic knowledge.”

Léa’s “Mapping Encampment” is a “planisphere of the refugee and IDP camps established in the world since the 1950s [and] a manifesto against the growing encampment system and for the human right to mobility.”

Manú’s “Queer Migrant Trajectories in Barcelona” “employs a range of decolonial, ethnographic methods in order to question western cartographic assumptions. Drawing upon traditions of social and critical cartography, psychogeography, queer theory and migration studies, the atlas presents the experiences of Queer Migrants in Barcelona from an affective and non-linear perspective.”

Mariana’s “Mapping Police Resources” examines how “the events that members of law enforcement encounter daily are multiple and varied. Therefore, they can exceed officer’s capabilities or field of action and lead to a violent approach towards them. To contribute to more democratic and less violent law enforcement agencies that can address properly the different situations they have at hand it is important to map the different resources that police men and women can turn to when needed.”

Mary Ann’s “The Anti-Democracy Atlas” “contains five different maps related to misinformation and online radicalization in anti-democratic spaces. In this collection, I use five different methods to examine these topics: relational, organizational, geographic, visual, and temporal. On the whole, The Anti-Democracy Atlas is an attempt to broadly map the different ways that powerful people use information—real or manipulated—to influence less powerful people and slowly chip away at democratic institutions.”

“The Anthropology & Design Exhibition (ADX) was a nine month research + implementation project to survey resources, build networks, and inform programming around Anthropology & Design at The New School.” Oscar’s “Mapping the Anthropology & Design Exhibition,” a “scrolling research outline, could inform the continued formalization of anthropology & design programming at The New School.”

Ripley’s “From Monocropping to Abundance” offers “a look into the concept of ‘agroecology’, and what makes it so different from industrial methods. This project uses audio, photo and illustration.”

Rosa’s “Grounding Lessons” is “an ongoing personal collection of research artifacts contextualizing my regenerative ecology gestures and their indigenous roots. It documents my embodied experimentations in textiles, worms, soil, history, and mapping. In this project, I use multiplicity and multimodality in my art practice to elicit conversations exploring alternative narratives within the larger context of food inequalities surrounding Native American communities.”

Sherry’s “86’ed: New York City’s restaurants during the pandemic” maps “photos and sounds of the city’s restaurant during to the pandemic to try and go a bit deeper than what regular GIS dashboards attempt to capture.”

Finally, Zhibang’s “Connected Species” “creates digital replicas of the specimens of a given museum, uncovers the hidden stories of the displayed specimens, reveals the relationships (i.e. geographic, taxonomic, living status etc.) among those species, enables visitors to explore them in a data-driven fashion, and stays connected with the real-setting objects. Connected Species also aspires to be an accessible and affordable solution for any museum worldwide.”