In cartography, a projection is a transformation of the three-dimensional shape of the planet onto a two-dimensional surface. Mapped projections, by definition, distort the surface to some extent: some of the most accurate projections are less legible due to the lines of division and intersection, whereas some of the most recognizable projections (such as the Mercator projection) distort large portions of the globe by shrinking equatorial regions in comparison to northern landmasses. In psychological terms, projection refers to the impulse to see aspects of oneself — accurately or inaccurately — in others. Between these two definitions of projection lay fertile grounds for considering the land through the lens of both the affective and the political. It underscores the impact of the epistemic violence of misrepresentation: the map becomes a way of understanding the non-Western world and racialized bodies, so that the ‘distorted’ map imposes just as real a set of political restrictions as the ‘accurate’ one.
As a point of departure, this project seeks to ask: How do racialized bodies navigate both geographic and social space? How are bodies codified as ‘excessive’ through normative conceptualizations of space and geography? And how is belonging asserted and denied through interactions with the land and its signifiers? By intervening upon images of the map, the border, and the earth, this project seeks to visualize the tension between belonging and rejection, expressing the effects of that tension through the use of animated images that cycle indefinitely and interact variously with the surfaces upon which they are projected. Dislocation — physical, social, and psychic — is made manifest in its different forms through animated work that is tactile and visceral despite its intangibility.
I gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the City of Ottawa, without which this project would not have been possible!