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Deveron Projects

The Town Is The Venue
What is the 50/50 Principle? What is the 50/50 Principle?

Maider López

How do you live this place?


Space defines landscape, where space combined with
memory defines place
Lucy R. Lippard in Lure of the Local
Mapping community relationships and routines inspired by the 17th century cartographer James Gordon

Maider López came to Huntly from the Basque Country, Spain for a three-month residency in the autumn of 2010.

Every day new interactive technologies are mapping the spaces we inhabit with greater accuracy and objectivity, producing publicly available maps of our immediate and wider environment. But how does this relate to individuals in a certain place? This topic provided an opportunity to examine the work of early Scottish cartographer, James Gordon of Rothiemay/Huntly. Maider explored how his legacy has influenced ways of thinking and map making, and what effect these practices have had on the public spaces they intend to represent.


Through her work, Maider López investigates the use of public space. Her sensitivity towards the relationship between civic/public architecture and the daily movements and routines of the public allowed her to interpret and understand the specific qualities of early cartography.

Studying the maps and practices of James Gordon, Maider became fascinated with the subjective nature of his methodology, measuring distances based on his own footsteps, which may have varied considerably based on his disposition throughout a single day. Thus, it was suggested that his maps were subjectively rendered guides of his own experience of a place. By asking the people of Huntly to consider their own experiences of the town and how they respond to public space in their daily lives, Maider created an opportunity to produce a map based on these memories and subjective experiences. Giving each participant of her project five coloured stones that represented different feelings or memories of a place (e.g Blue = I have a special memory of this place, Orange = This used to be a favourite place, but now it has changed, etc), people were free to position their stone in a place appropriate to their personal experience. As well as a subjective map, a unique temporary signage was created which contrasted with the regular civic signage that denotes how the place should be used from an authoritarian point of view.

The collectively authored map was the focus of an on-line discussion entitled Mapping Communities, hosted by Artachat, in which writer and activist Lucy R. Lippard, artist Chrissie Orr, town planner Piers Blaxter and artist David Harding examined the nature of such a project in the public sphere.

Shadow CuratorDave Beech


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