Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Social Mapping, Lines of Flight, and Late Night W(a/o)ndering

Tonight a provocative statement was posed by Pam Moran (@pammoran) and then responded to by Chad Sansing (@chadsansing) over at Twitter.

Take a look:

So I am thinking about social mapping inside systems and wondering if anyone can point me/us in a direction that might show examples of the thinking that informs the generation of a social map.

I know I have rhizomes on the brain, but I can just about hear Deleuze and Guattari saying something relevant about all this.

Something about maps, tracings, and lines of flight.

Thinking about @chadsansing's tweet. And perhaps it is the presence of lines of flight that signals the collapsed space of hierarchy.  Perhaps these are the sparks.  Could critical mass of a system collapsing be brought about through the generation of idiosyncratic lines of flight?

A line of flight is a rupture in an established system.

Like the various actions that comprise the 'Occupy Movement'.

"A line of flight is a line of becoming that brings the system to yet another level of complexity by virtue
of the new knowledge, new concepts, new meanings," writes Inna Semetsky*.

So could you map lines of flight: lines that signal becoming?
Has someone done this?

Do not these lines represent the non-linearity of a system?

*Not by breadth along: Imagining a self-organised classroom. Complicity, 2005.


  1. hmm. just sent this tweet out the same time i got yours to this post..

    what it was all about was nonlinearity - via orbiting the giant hairball, MacKenzie

    are seeking to map non-linearity? and if so, for what purpose?

  2. Thanks for this invitation to ruminate. If we could map the scatter of sparks from an event or idea, see what their lines illuminate, and keep track of where they catch & where they sputter out, we could describe all sorts of needs -


  3. social mapping... (based on the library of babel)

    this too is infinite (a cluster of infinities...

    a cluster of round tables each equidistant from the next,
    or maybe a table to one side of the staircase
    in each of Borges' chambers--

    the people at each table,
    leaning in to listen closely,
    leaning out to think and overhear
    the conversation at the next table;
    loitering in doorways
    sitting on steps, browsing shelves
    from room to room
    taking language with them,
    leaving it behind

    & in each room
    mounted at the very center
    with a set of omnidirectional microphones
    connected to a universal recording device
    that gets it all down
    and sends it all on
    to a meta-processing nexus
    that hovers invisibly just above
    and beyond
    the palpable world
    to be mapped, charted, parsed & compared
    in a hapless attempt to reveal pattern
    & form--

    how much of what is said alters
    another's thoughts
    or forms
    or ends
    a universe;
    which parts of what is said is what is heard
    and how much of what is heard is repeated

    (hearsay, i say, and inadmissible at that:
    groucho rising
    in an impromptu marx brothers manifesto
    of subversion, inversion & dissipation,
    a cacophonous collaboration of chaos,
    of pulse,
    except maybe this time
    it's not so funny--

    is a belief
    in a discreetly discernable separation
    of contexts
    & ideas.

  4. @Monika: Seeking to make a map of lived spaces always knowing it is wonderfully incomplete.

    Purpose? Not sure there is one.

  5. @Chad Curious as to how that mapping would occur? What would be the way one would know any of it?

  6. Hi Mary Ann,
    I've been exploring the idea of mapping and come across hunome - a project to map what it means to be human.

  7. That beautiful piece of writing from Rob Cohen with no profile and no twitter id - leaves me wishing that Rob was mapped! :)

  8. Hi Heidi, I checked out Humome (as much as I could) and am curious to see the map. Thanks for the link.