Call for Book Chapters: ‘Temporality and Digital Mapping’

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Editors: Sybille Lammes, Chris Perkins, Nanna Verhoeff, Sam Hind, Alex Gekker, Clancy Wilmott.

Call for Chapters

Digital mapping, though generally conceived as a spatial activity, is as strongly grounded in time. With the digital era disintegrating representational fixity, scholars, adept at grappling with the spatial implications of digitality, continue to struggle to conceptualize and communicate the temporal consequences of maps that shift with each moment.

In this peer-reviewed collection we seek to take up Doreen Massey’s (2005: 107) still critical concern: how do we cope with the ‘ongoing stories’ in the world. Mapping has long wrestled with the difficulty of enrolling time into such narratives. This collection aims to examine how this is impacted by the presence of digital mapping technologies that, arguably, have disrupted our understanding of time as much as they have provided coherence.

We are looking for contributions that move beyond the descriptive to pay particular attention to what might be called the ‘critical dynamics’ of time. Examples of such approaches may include drawing on phenomenology and the body (Massumi, Merleau-Ponty, Husserl), theorizing play and ludic devices (Huizinga, Caillois), employing network/assemblage thinking (Latour, De Landa), reading such concerns through philosophers of technology (Stiegler, Simondon etc.). In each case contributions should focus on, or cross-cut between , digital maps, digital mapping or digital locative-media.

We encourage contributions on a range of themes:

  • Rhythm (mapping and/or analysis of rhythm(s)
  • Inscription, folding or layering of temporality
  • ‘Real-time’ data visualization
  • Playing with mapping time
  • Urban ‘ghostings’ or hauntings
  • Surveillant temporalities
  • The temporality of designing maps.
  • Present absences / absent presences
  • Methodologies of temporal recovery / analysis
  • Changing everyday digital mapping cultures
  • Political valence of temporal dynamics
  • ‘Capturing’ and the flows of everyday life
  • Affective technologies and the half-second delay
  • (Digital) mapping moments or events
  • Fast/slow cartographies
  • Temporal dashboards
  • Play time
  • Attention, interest and changing modes of temporal production
  • Temporality at the interface: haptic and participatory presence
  • Interfaces and digital ‘feeds’ / content immediacy
  • The blackboxing of temporality
  • Futures and/or loss of futurity
  • Spatial stories and narrative cartographies
  • Embodied mapping practice
  • Temporality of creative processes
  • Designing time
  • Temporal complexities

We invite contributions from range of methodological, theoretical and practical vantage points, and are particularly interested in bringing together a variety of approaches, from junior and senior researchers, and from diverse disciplinary backgrounds.


Please send a full chapter of between 4000 and 8000 words (Chicago manual of style), with a short biography of 100 words by 18 December 2014 to: We use Easychair as our submission system:

For other inquiries please contact:

PDF version. Word version.


On Tuesday January 14th we will have the next GEM jam in Utrecht. Please save the date! We will convene between 1 and 3 at Muntstraat 2A, 1.11. In this second meeting of the Research Group on Geomedia and Urban Interfaces (see below) we will discuss Alexander Galloway’s 2012 book The Interface Effect.

Although it isn’t a particularly lengthy title, some might consider reading Patrick Jagoda’s review in the LARB as a good entry point into the book. If you are unfamiliar with Galloway’s work in general, his other two major books are Protocol (2004), a Deleuzian take on the machinations of control and Gaming (2006), a reading of algorithmic culture. The Interface Effect is the third and final title in his ‘Allegories of Control’ trilogy.

Interface Effect

GEM meetings are open to anyone interested in the specific topic of the meeting and/or the activities of the research group. Please pass on this invitation, and let us know if you want to be put on the GEM email list!

Happy Holidays from the GEM team!
Nanna Verhoeff (Utrecht University)
Sybille Lammes (Warwick University)
Chris Perkins (Manchester University)
Alex Gekker (Utrecht)
Sam Hind (Warwick)
Clancy Wilmott (Manchester)
Introducing GEM: research group on geomedia and urban interfaces
GEM will regularly assemble at Utrecht University to discuss topics at the intersection of media studies and critical geography, with a specific focus on screens as navigational interfaces. Tied to the Charting the Digital European Research Council project and in co-operation with the Universities of Warwick and Manchester, we aim to provide an inclusive platform to discuss interdisciplinary topics pertaining to this focus.
Whether or not we wish to speak of a spatial or spatiotemporal turn, spatiality has become a central theoretical concept in media studies as well in critical geography. New urban interfaces, and in particular digital maps, have prompted challenging questions about how spatialities can be epistemologically and ontologically understood and which theories, tools and methodologies are needed to understand our contemporary mediatized and mobile daily lives to their full extent. GEM aims to shed light on such questions by exploring the intersections of the different notions of space in different disciplines and traditions of thought, combined with the analysis of and reflection on how we approach and do geo-media and urban interfaces and explore the essentials we need as researchers to engage with these research topics.
Open to PhD candidates and other junior and senior researches, as well as interested artists or practitioners, we will occasionally incorporate guest lectures, workshops and master classes. Those who join are more than welcome to suggest their own workshops, reading material, research questions and/or methodologies.

The interface effect

Alexander Galloway’s new book, The Interface Effect is out now on Polity. Straight from the publisher’s site, then:

Interfaces are back, or perhaps they never left. The familiar Socratic conceit from the Phaedrus, of communication as the process of writing directly on the soul of the other, has returned to center stage in today’s discussions of culture and media. Indeed Western thought has long construed media as a grand choice between two kinds of interfaces. Following the optimistic path, media seamlessly interface self and other in a transparent and immediate connection. But, following the pessimistic path, media are the obstacles to direct communion, disintegrating self and other into misunderstanding and contradiction. In other words, media interfaces are either clear or complicated, either beautiful or deceptive, either already known or endlessly interpretable.

Recognizing the limits of either path, Galloway charts an alternative course by considering the interface as an autonomous zone of aesthetic activity, guided by its own logic and its own ends: the interface effect. Rather than praising user-friendly interfaces that work well, or castigating those that work poorly, this book considers the unworkable nature of all interfaces, from windows and doors to screens and keyboards. Considered allegorically, such thresholds do not so much tell the story of their own operations but beckon outward into the realm of social and political life, and in so doing ask a question to which the political interpretation of interfaces is the only coherent answer.

Grounded in philosophy and cultural theory and driven by close readings of video games, software, television, painting, and other images, Galloway seeks to explain the logic of digital culture through an analysis of its most emblematic and ubiquitous manifestation –  the interface.

I probably need to finish reading Stiegler’s Disorientation (which is also the sensation I get from reading too much by him) and Dikotter’s Mao’s Great Famine (there’s only so much data one can compute on just how flawed, disorganized, reckless and hubristic the CCP was in the 60s), otherwise I’m going to be wading through three books at once. Although at only 200 pages it looks tempting.