Exploring Relational Space

The Question(s)

What is relational space? What does it mean? How does it work? What does it look like? What can we learn from studying it?

The Task

In this lab we pondered (and produced graphic representations of) relational space, keeping our cultural and Eurasian contexts in mind. We deliberately left open-ended the question of which methods and tools (analog or digital) should be deployed.

Our guidelines were as follows:

  • Work together to define a question you would like to pursue collectively. The question could be conceptual, methodological, or anything in between, but it must explore the broader idea of relational space.
  • Use one or more Items in the Mappings Gallery (Omeka site) as the starting point (or focus, depending on your topic) for your project. Augment the material of the project with additional Items created by your group members.
  • Analyze and explain the mechanisms, graphic or otherwise, according to which the Items selected by your group function. What does a viewer need to know in order to interpret the mapping in question? In what context was it meant to have meaning?
  • Produce an Omeka Exhibit that integrates your analyses and explorations and in so doing helps answer the question your group has chosen to explore. You might think of your exhibit as a “mapping” – a representation of the relationships between pieces of information (in this case, your Items). Each group will produce a single Exhibit.

Given our diverse disciplinary backgrounds and our openness to rethinking forms of narrative as well as methods of interpretation and explication, we expected to produce a range of “mappings” - and indeed we did. 

Just what is relational space? Explore these Exhibits to get a sense of how we began to approach cobbling together an answer.