"It's a little bit of everything I like to do all put into one project," says Becka Barker about her upcoming Nocturne project. "When you walk into a classroom in Korea you see Asia on the left and North America on the right you're kind of like, 'Oh, OK.' Even something as straight-up so-called 'objective' as topography and land masses, how we see that is cultural."
Barker wants to know exactly how you see the world as she gathers hundreds of hand-drawn from memory world maps in advance of her Nocturne independent project, The Hundred-Eyed Satellite. With support from the Halifax Public Libraries and the East Coast School of Languages, Barker has been hosting "world map drawing parties" where wannabe topographers can sketch their own map. Barker will collect roughly 500 maps, sequence and animate them by hand for her final project. Viewers can see how their contributions shape this morphing, living atlas at the Museum of Natural History, October 18.
"I'm trying to think of it as a giant potential dataset, but instead of that set being made from photos from a satellite, it's coming from our minds," says Barker, who adds that the personal connections at the parties have been one of the most rewarding aspects so far. "There's something where culture and geography meet that I must be interested in."
The next drawing party is September 6 at Alderney Gate Library, but if you can't make it, maps can be submitted online at wmdp.ca.
"It's the kind of project that will be finished as proposed for Nocturne, but I could keep doing this for years,'" says Barker, noting that the nature of the project is ever-changing based on the participants. "You don't leave your culture behind when you move to a new place, it just mixes in a new way."
World Map Drawing Party
Saturday, September 6, 10am-1pm
Creighton Room, 2nd floor
Alderney Gate Public Library, 60 Alderney Drive