Category: Mapping The Drowned World

Mapping The Drowned World Thesis

We now live in an age of twin eschatological threats. Image concept: T. Clement. Pixel wrangling: P. Burgess, 2017.

My complete PhD thesis can be read here.

Abstract:

Mapping The Drowned World is driven by the research question: What can we learn about our world by re-reading, re-writing and re-interpreting The Drowned World through the lens of art? This three-pronged methodology has generated three suites of artworks: a series of maps, and two major installations in the form of ruined scale-model cites. In addition, a group exhibition which featured some of these works, alongside works made by five other Australian artists, was staged and documented in a catalogue, also titled Mapping The Drowned World. The written content of this research includes several new analyses of The Drowned World, critiques of the artworks made as part of this project and works made by other artists, and an original interstitial chapter for the novel which recuperates the only female character in The Drowned World.

Together, both the creative and written components of this research contribute new knowledge to three fields: scholarship on J.G. Ballard, including contemporary artworks made in direct response to his stories; the field of critical cartography, both textual and visual; and works which respond to eschatological anxiety.

If you cite my research please let me know! And please acknowledge my work in your footnotes and bibliography.

 

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PhD show: Mapping The Drowned World

Tracey Clement, ‘Mapping The Drowned World’ installed at SCA, 21-23 September 2017.

All three bodies of work which I made for my PhD (Post-Premonitionism 2, Metropolis Experiment, and my Drowned World Maps) came together in my show Mapping The Drowned World, for 3 days only. Both the sculptures and the maps were made in response to JG Ballard’s 1962 novel, The Drowned World.  You can watch me de-install the show in the video below.

Watch Tracey Clement de-install ‘Mapping The Drowned World.’ 3.5 years work, 6 day install, 7 hour de-install: compressed into 1.5 minutes!

 

Tracey Clement, ‘Mapping The Drowned World’ installed at SCA, 21-23 September 2017.

Tracey Clement, ‘Mapping The Drowned World’ installed at SCA, 21-23 September 2017.

Drowned World: Loximuthal Projection

Tracey Clement, ‘Drowned World: Loximuthal Projection,’ 2017, pencil and rust on paper, 800 x 1210.

This the fifth (and final) map I’ve made as part of my Mapping The Drowned World project, inspired by JG Ballard’s novel The Drowned World.

You can find all of my Drowned World maps here.

In this map the conventional view of the planet is inverted. After all, there is no right way up in space.

18.3 hours of drawing, January – September 2017.

Watch Tracey Clement creating Drowned World Loximuthal Projection here.

 

Cartographic Perspectives

One of my Drowned World maps has made the cover of the US journal Cartographic Perspectives!
You can read my article here: http://dx.doi.org/10.14714/CP85.1401

Cover of ‘Cartographic Perspectives,’ no 85, 2016. Tracey Clement, Drowned World: Eckert Projection (detail), 2016, pencil and rust on paper.

Metropolis Experiment

Tracey Clement, ‘Metropolis Experiment,’ 2016-17, rusty steel, salt, laboratory glass, cotton, dimensions variable (max height 200cm). Photo T. Clement.

Metropolis Experiment, 2-17 June 2017 at AirSpace Projects, Marrickville.

Metropolis Experiment is part architectural model, part mad science: the whole city is a laboratory. But instead of shiny stainless and gleaming glassware in sterile white surrounds, we are presented with rusty tripods and salt crystals that creep up and over everything, corroding as they go. In Metropolis Experiment something has gone horribly wrong: it’s a ruined model city, a metaphor.

Metropolis Experiment is my third recent body of work which responds to the vivid prognostications of JG Ballard’s 1962 post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel, The Drowned World. View the first here and the second here.

What links these works is the image of the ruined city, an image Ballard conjured so evocatively in The Drowned World.

Tracey Clement, 'Metropolis Experiment,' 2016-17, rusty steel, salt, laboratory glass, cotton, dimensions variable (max height 200cm). Photo T. Clement.

Tracey Clement, ‘Metropolis Experiment,’ 2016-17, rusty steel, salt, laboratory glass, cotton, dimensions variable (max height 200cm). Photo T. Clement.

Thanks to its scale, Metropolis Experiment draws on the conceptual qualities of architectural models (as well as ruins) in order to make a point. As theorists are fond of pointing out, all ruins simultaneously embody both the present and the past.

Meanwhile, architectural models are inherently aspirational. They embody potential, physically manifested, but not quite realised. They represent the future. As a ruined model city (a combination of both) my artwork adds a third temporal stream: the future already devastated.

Metropolis Experiment is a premonition, a warning.

Metropolis Experiment II

Tracey Clement, ‘Metropolis Experiment II,’ 2016, laboratory glass, salt, rust, dimensions variable (max height 100cm).

Metropolis Experiment II is actually part of a larger work, Metropolis Experiment, which will be shown at AirSpace Projects 2-17 June 2017.

This sculpture is the unholy love child of an architectural model and a chemistry trial gone horribly wrong: it’s a ruined model city, a metaphor.

Metropolis Experiment is part of my third recent body of work in my Mapping The Drowned World project which responds to the vivid prognostications of JG Ballard’s 1962 post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel, The Drowned World.

It is also my third model city. The previous two are: Post-Premonitionism 2 and Plastic City.

 

Drowned World: Buckminster Fuller Projection

This the fourth map I’ve made as part of my Mapping The Drowned World project, inspired by JG Ballard’s novel The Drowned World.

Maps are always staking a claim or making a point. Far from being an endeavour of pure science, they are political and cultural tools. They frequently represent power and the domination of both people and places.

Maps are artefacts deeply embedded in the cultures that make them and the conditions of their time. And my Drowned World maps are no exception.

In my Drowned World series of drawings I transpose a predicted ocean level rise of 70 meters on to maps of the world. These artworks picture planetary geography re-shaped in a way that echoes Ballard’s science fictional vision of The Drowned World, but they are also grounded in the real.

This map took approx 25 hours of drawing, August – December 2016

The time-consuming nature of these works is a deliberate strategy which points to our complicity in creating our current climate crisis.

This catastrophe did not just happen: it took centuries of dedicated labour, ruthless exploitation of the natural environment, manic consumerism, and blatant disregard for the consequences of our actions to reach this moment in time.

The Buckminster Fuller projection was created in 1943.

WATCH Tracey Clement create Drowned World: Buckminster Fuller Projection.

Post-Premonitionism 2

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Tracey Clement, Post-Premonitionism 2, 2014-15, salt, rusty steel, cotton, dimensions variable, max height 1.8m.

Post-Premonistionism 2 is a sequel. It is my second sculptural response to JG Ballard’s novel The Drowned World. This work was installed during the group exhibition I coordinated, Mapping The Drowned World.

READ the ‘Mapping The Drowned World’ catalogue on ISSUU.

Thanks to its scale, Post-Premonitionism 2 draws on the conceptual qualities of architectural models, as well as ruins, in order to make a point. Architectural models are inherently aspirational. They embody potential, physically manifested, but not quite realised. They represent the future, while ruins ellicit a temporal slippage between the past and the present. But as a model city, my artwork adds a third temporal stream: the future already devastated.

Model cities are conventionally displayed so that the viewer takes a ‘god’s eye view’ like a triumphant ruler surveying his domain. In my work, the ruined city is positioned at eye height, precariously balanced on salty peaks of vaguely anthropomorphic volume, emphasising our complicity in creating this ruined future. Like Ballard’s novel, my ruined city is a warning.

Mapping The Drowned World installation

 

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Tracey Clement with Post-Premonitionism 2 in Mapping The Drowned World, October 2015.

Installation shots from Mapping The Drowned World. Six artists responded to JG Ballard’s novel, The Drowned World

Exhibiting artists: Roy Ananda, Jon Cattapan, Tracey Clement, Kate Mitchell, Janet Tavener and Gosia Wlodarczak

Mapping The Drowned World
Coordinated by Tracey Clement
8-31 October 2015
SCA Galleries
READ the ‘Mapping The Drowned World’ catalogue on ISSUU.

Drowned World: Eckert Projection

WATCH Tracey Clement create Drowned World: Eckert Projection.

See my Drowned World maps in the group show Future Stratigraphy, 6-29 October 2016, at SCA Galleries, Sydney.

The Eckert projection was created in 1906. My map took approx 21 hours of drawing, February – June 2016

This the third map I’ve made as  part of my Mapping The Drowned World project, inspired by JG Ballard’s novel The Drowned World.

 

Drowned World: Bonne Projection

Post-Premonitionism 2: work in progress videos

Post-Premonitionism 2 is part of my broader Mapping The Drowned World project in which I respond to the vivid prognostications in JG Ballard’s novel, The Drowned World.

READ the catalogue for Mapping The Drowned World, the group exhibition I coordinated for SCA Galleries, 8-31 October 2015.

Each of the salt cones in Post-Premonitionism 2 takes about 3 months to construct from start to finish.

Tracey Clement, 'Post-Premonitionism 2,' work in progress, 18 Feb 2015.

Tracey Clement, ‘Post-Premonitionism 2,’ work in progress, 18 Feb 2015.

The first step is to make a cone from a flat sheet of fabric.

Tracey Clement, 'Post-Premonitionism 2,' work in progress, 18 July – 27 Sept 2015.

Tracey Clement, ‘Post-Premonitionism 2,’ work in progress, 18 July – 27 Sept 2015.

The cones are then strung up, the steel structures are stitched in and the whole thing is soaked with super-saturated salt solution.

This timelapse was shot without a tripod so things move around wildly. This version is all about the buckets!

Tracey Clement, 'Post-Premonitionism 2,' work in progress, 18 July – 27 Sept 2015.

Tracey Clement, ‘Post-Premonitionism 2,’ work in progress, 18 July – 27 Sept 2015.

This version is slightly steadier and concentrates on watching the rust develop.

Tracey Clement, 'Post-Premonitionism 2,' 2015, salt, rusty steel, cotton, dimensions variable, 36 units, height 80-190cm ea. Courtesy: the artist. Installed over 2 days, 3-4 October 2015.

Tracey Clement, ‘Post-Premonitionism 2,’ 2015, salt, rusty steel, cotton, dimensions variable, 36 units, height 80-190cm ea. Courtesy: the artist. Installed over 2 days, 3-4 October 2015.

125+ kilograms of salt crystals were added to the sculpture in this installation.

Click HERE for more info and more work in progress stills.

READ the catalogue for Mapping The Drowned World, the group exhibition I coordinated for SCA Galleries, 8-31 October 2015.

Drowned World: Petermann Star Projection

Post-Premonitionism 2 installation video

Mapping The Drowned World: October 8-31, 2015

JG Ballard’s post-apocalyptic novel, The Drowned World was written in 1962 during the Cold War, yet it reads like a prescient vision of our current climate crisis.

As a bridge between the end-of-the world fears of the recent past and current anxieties, The Drowned World is a potentially rich source of inspiration for contemporary artists.

In the group exhibition, Mapping The Drowned World, six Australian artists respond to thought provoking themes and imagery from Ballard’s novel.

Exhibiting artists: Roy Ananda, Jon Cattapan, Tracey Clement, Kate Mitchell, Janet Tavener and Gosia Wlodarczak

Mapping The Drowned World
Coordinated by Tracey Clement
8-31 October 2015
SCA Galleries
Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, Balmain Road, Rozelle
Hours: Monday to Friday 11am-5pm; Saturday 11am to 4pm
Opening night: 7 October 6-8pm

READ the ‘Mapping The Drowned World’ catalogue on ISSUU.