Judith Tucker © 2011, Spectres on the Beach series,
Oil on Canvas, 91.4x122cm
Mapping Spectral Traces emerged as a result of conversations and exchanges between Christine Baeumler (University of Minnesota, Department of Art), Iain Biggs (PLaCE Research Centre, UWE-Bristol & LAND2), Karen Till (Dept. of Geography, National University of Ireland Maynooth, Space&Place Research Collaborative) and Judith Tucker (University of Leeds, LAND2) to facilitate and strengthen interaction between artistic, research and creative practices along a number of themes they shared in common. In 2010 Rebecca Krinke (University of Minnesota, Department of Landscape Architecture) and Mary Modeen (Departments of Fine Art, and Art and Philosophy, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee) joined these discussions and became key organizers. In 2011 Nessa Cronin (Centre for Irish Studies, National University of Ireland Galway) and Gini Lee (Department of Landscape Architecture, Queensland University of Technology) also began to contribute as network co-convenors.
The impetus for the MST network began with a meeting between Iain and Karen following a 2005 workshop organized by the AHRC at Royal Holloway as part of its scoping of the Landscape and Environment initiative.
Following this, two international UMN Space&Place events were organized in 2007 to explore key concepts and invite exchange with like-minded artists, practitioners, scholars and educators: the “Heritage Sites/Political Spaces: Rethinking Belonging” symposium and related postgraduate seminars, organized by Karen and Margaret Werry, and the “Memory Matters” Summer Studio in Minneapolis, organized by Karen and Cecilia Aldarondo; both events were funded by the UMN Institute for Global Studies and Institute for Advanced Study, with matching funds from Land2 and PLaCE, and local hosts). In 2008 Iain, Judith, Margaret and Cecilia presented a panel on ‘Memory Matters’ at the ‘Cultural Memory: Forgetting to Remember/Remembering to Forget’ conference, University of Kent, UK.
Building upon the inspiration, projects and practices of a core group of individuals stemming from these events and related exchanges, in 2009 Christine, Iain, Karen and Judith decided to organize a series of events at their respective host institutions to support and encourage independent artists, artists-scholars, graduate students, scholars and local community groups to continue conversations and enable future collaborations at local and international levels over a number of years (see ‘MST Events’ and ‘Creative Work’). The symposia and member exchanges expanded to become the Mapping Spectral Traces international network.
Te Wairua O Te Maunga (Spirit of the Mountain), digital print on rag paper,
©Mary Modeen, 2007