The Map-i. network is a research platform which brings together academic research on arts projects from around the world, which use mapping and mapping methodologies to collate, question or challenge established world views. It asks why, and how artists map? Emerging themes include climate change, the Anthropocene, social inequality and globalisation.


The image of the Fool’s Cap[1]depicted above, is a sixteenth century map of the world. The fool was a court figure allowed to speak truth to power. As such it sums up the essence of map-i ethos: how artists question and critique society, using the map as a metaphor or mapping as methodology to ‘speak the uncomfortable truth’[2]. The original[3] map can be found in the Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts collection of the Bodleian Libraries at the University of Oxford, England, UK. It is thought to be Flemish and to have originated from the city of Antwerp, then a global centre of excellence of cartography.

The map-i network links and relates to the map-i project, which was established in 2013 as a framework within which a series of art projects could be developed as part of a long-term holistic investigation into notions of place and space. It engages with mapping in art and the map as metaphor specifically by looking at the concept of space from a human perspective; from the infinitesimally small to the sublime of Space. The ethos of Map-i is based on this premise of interconnectedness: how the observable universe can be broken down into infinitesimally small particles, applicable at both the micro and the macro level, always of course observed from a human point of view. The human factor of space; that which can observed, walked, experienced, noted and calculated is referenced by the ‘i’ in Map-i.

This site was established in January 2017. The posts are administered by artist and academic Inge Panneels[4] and invited guest editors.


[1] Fools. Cap (c 1580-90), map image sourced from Wiki Media and used under the Creative Commons license. Available at: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fool’s_Cap_Map_of_the_World.jpg

[2] Jacobs, Frank. “480 Fool’s Cap Map of the World”, blog post, Big Think site, date unknown

Available at: http://bigthink.com/strange-maps/480-the-fools-cap-map-of-the-world [accessed 9 January 2017]

[3] shelfmark: Douce Portfolio 142(92)

Available at: http://bodley30.bodley.ox.ac.uk:8180/luna/servlet/s/290kvh [accessed 9 January 2017]

[4] Inge Panneels artist

Available at: www.ingepanneels.com

Inge Panneels academic: https://sunderland.academia.edu/IngePanneels [accessed 9 January 2017].  This blog forms part of an AHRC funded PhD at Northumbria University, Visual Culture Department (due for completion in 2019).