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Oct. 6: Carnegie Mellon's Miller Gallery Presents "Experimental Geography," Guest Curated by Nato Thompson, Oct. 9 - Jan. 31


Eric Sloss

Carnegie Mellon's Miller Gallery Presents "Experimental Geography,"
Guest Curated by Nato Thompson, Oct. 9 - Jan. 31

PITTSBURGH—The Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University presents "Experimental Geography," an exhibition by 19 artists and teams from seven countries that explores the differences between geographical study and artistic experience of the earth. The exhibit, which runs from Oct. 9 through Jan. 31, 2010, presents a broad view of this new field through many mediums including interactive computer units, sound and video installations, photography, sculpture and experimental cartography.

A themeMiller Galleryd opening for the exhibit, called "A Continental Reception," will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 16 at the Miller Gallery on Carnegie Mellon's campus.

Geography benefits from the study of specific histories, sites and memories," said guest curator Nato Thompson of Creative Time in New York. "The task of the geographer is to alert us to what is directly in front of us, while the task of the experimental geographer — an amalgam of scientist, artist and explorer — is to do so in a manner that deploys aesthetics, ambiguity, poetry and a dash of empiricism."

Works featured in the exhibition range from sewn cloth cities that spill out of suitcases, bus tours through water treatment centers, performers climbing buildings and sound-art created from running through Boston's evacuation route.

One project by AREA Chicago invites Pittsburgh residents to contribute to the exhibition by plotting their personal knowledge of places, histories and ideas on a blank map of the city, downloadable at The project challenges the power of map-making and urban planning, which is often done without the consultation of citizens.

Experimental Geography is a traveling exhibition organized and circulated by Independent Curators International (iCI) in New York. Exhibiting artists include Francis Alÿs, The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), kanarinka (Catherine D'Ignazio), Julia Meltzer and David Thorne, Lize Mogel, Trevor Paglen, Raqs Media Collective, Deborah Stratman, Daniel Tucker, Alex Villar, Yin Xiuzhen and more.

Paglen, an artist, writer and experimental geographer, will speak as part of Carnegie Mellon's School of Art Lecture Series at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010, in the University Center's McConomy Auditorium. The lecture will be part of the Contestational Cartographies Symposium, organized by the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry and the Miller Gallery from Jan. 28-30, 2010.

Admission to the Miller Gallery is free and open to the public from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. For additional events related to the exhibition and high-resolution images available for download, visit The exhibition, tour and catalogue are made possible, in part, by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the iCI Advocates, the iCI Partners, Gerrit L. and Sydie Lansing, and Barbara and John Robinson.


Pictured above is (Garbage City & Landfill vs. Incinerator), The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), drawing by Damon Rich, 2002-08.