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Themesicon: navigation pathMapping and Texticon: navigation pathBeyond the Archive

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element (free floating—be it the open sea or the open sky, and only in this case are we dealing with «l´espace strié de type métrique et pulsé» as described by Deleuze/Guattari in «Mille Plateaux.») [2] Let us not forget that Norbert Wiener developed his 1948 theory of cybernetics in order for artillery on the ground to predict hostile aircraft movement. The trajectory of a ballistic missile (as described in Thomas Pynchon's novel «Gravity's Rainbow») is no longer a function of space, but a function of numerical tables; in fact, a missile corrects its trajectory during flight with the aid of the numerical feedback of information.

Topological operativity is not multi-sensual but strictly mathematic, more prosaic than poetic. Thus the true «mapping gaze» (Buci-Glucksmann) [LI] is a theoretical gaze. Though the very term «theory» originally stems from theatrical vision, in mediated contexts it means abstraction, and in our context abstraction means mathematization. Just like the Renaissance perspective was for visual arts, mapping and cartography were the first step of abstracting from physical space, representing it symbolically and according to laws of geometry. But the whole model


was still based on referentiality, i.e. maps representing real or imagined territories. In fact there is a fundamental difference between the representation of geographic space and the spatial visualization of data (just like between the «Media Art Net» information system and genuine Net-based art). It makes a crucial difference if media art is represented, indexed and mapped online or if the Internet itself becomes the material for artistic work, such as art produced by the HTML code itself using ASCII symbols of the source code of homepages. [3]

Mapping as visual metaphor

Mapping is creating visual metaphors for representing information [4] , a toll on the reduction of data complexity—which in the digital age means mapping the alphanumeric into the visual. The «Aspen Movie Map» developed in 1978 by the MIT Architecture Machine Group headed by Nicholas Negroponte was still based on input taken by photographs of places in real Aspen, Colorado; thus the resulting interface is a metaphor (or rather simulation) of motion in real space. Jeffrey

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