2013 volume 45(1) pages 37 – 54

Cite as:
Lin W, 2013, "Situating performative neogeography: tracing, mapping, and performing “Everyone’s East Lake”" Environment and Planning A 45(1) 37 – 54

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Situating performative neogeography: tracing, mapping, and performing “Everyone’s East Lake”

Wen Lin

Abstract. The emergence and proliferation of neogeographic practices since the mid-2000s have drawn significant attention from GIS scholars. I seek to contribute to the discussion on situating neogeography, particularly through examining the performative dimension of neogeography. To understand performative neogeographic practices I enroll de Certeau’s notion of tactics to read these practices as tactical spatial narratives, which may provide different possibilities for spaces of civic engagement and political intervention in an increasingly networked and yet individualized society. I also draw upon theoretical insights from critical GIS and critical social theory to situate and trace the constructions of performative neogeographic practices within particular sociopolitical contexts. Through this synthesized framework, I discuss a case study involved in a participatory art performance project entitled “Everyone’s East Lake” in China. Drawing upon interviews and document analysis, the author examines how participants utilize neogeographic mapping as a form of performance and tactical act in response to the dominant corporate and state power. While performative mapping has long been used by artists and cartographers, this case study illustrates how these performative neogeographic practices might highlight different intersections between self-identities, community participation, and sociopolitical conditions, through reconfigurations of mobile and networked mapping technologies. These dynamic, hybrid, and networked mapping practices necessitate a broader conceptualization of activism through mapping in critical GIS research.
Keywords: neogeography, VGI, tactic, resistance, China

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