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Mapping the Anthropocene: The Harrisons’ and The Deep Wealth of this Nation, Scotland

Panneels, Inge



Charles Travis

Vittorio Valentino


Mapping the Anthropocene considers The Deep Wealth of this Nation, Scotland (2018) by eco-art pioneers Helen Mayer and Newton Harrison. Known as the Harrisons, they deploy mapping to explore how a future Scotland could thrive and create surplus of ecological resources, founded on deep scientific ecological knowledge. The aesthetic of cognitive mapping argued for by Fredric Jameson (1988) is traced in this visual art practice and locates it more specifically within environmental art practices. This case study is presented as a significant model of Cultural Ecosystem Services (CES) where mapping and hacking are methods for collaborative, often interdisciplinary, art practices which, by specifically homing in on the local, highlight interconnectedness to global ecosystems to provide an ‘ecological eye’ (Patrizio, 2019) on the Anthropocene. It proposes that CES are underused and undervalued tools for policy-makers, to be reconsidered in context of the new ontopolitics of the Anthropocene (Chandler, 2018): one of enmeshment and entanglement of culture and nature as Joseph Beuys, and Patrick Geddes had anticipated and argued for. Thus, the Harrisons’ cartographic and geographic perspective provides an important understanding of the Anthropocene through visual arts practice and visual culture.

Online Publication Date Jan 2, 2022
Publication Date Dec 2, 2021
Deposit Date Mar 2, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jun 27, 2023
Pages 321-342
Series Title Geographies of the Anthropocene
Series Number Vol. 4, No. 2, December 2021
Series ISSN 2611-3171
Book Title Narratives in the Anthropocene era
Chapter Number 16
ISBN 979-12-80064-27-1
Keywords Anthropocene, mapping, creative cartographies, cultural ecosystem services, visual culture, The Harrisons
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