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Mapping the Mapping

As a follow-up to the Mapping Controversies project on the Danish 'Tax Wars' described last year on this blog, one group member - Emil Urhammer - has taken a more reflexive stance on a new website entitled Mapping the Mapping.

The two main contributions are a philosophical essay on what it might mean to do (meta) mapping of controversies and a short inquiry, using qualitative survey and interview methods, into the reception and future potential of the original Tax Wars project. I found both reads highly stimulating. For example, Emil suggests that a 'Chamber of Closure' is added to mappings of controversies in order to facilitate not only the opening of the field of actors and arguments, but also the speed of opinion construction that is so crucial under the current circumstances, according to Latour.

The apt name notwithstanding, I also find the chamber of closure idea very useful for making explicit to the reader that a visit to a mapping controversies is never innocent, but rather a means of achieving one form of closure over another,  in a (hopefully) slightly more transparent way. Such a chamber does, however, force the cartographer of controversies to face the fundamental dilemma of whether to take on the role of mapper or designer - and wonder whether these roles can be separated at all?

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