That maps are among our most valuable heuristic instruments has become even more pronounced in our contemporary technosocial environment which demands continuous cognitive activity: the sophisticated new technologies pervading everyday life have not only become an integral part of it but also effectively produce new forms of human positions and positioning involving us in active and continuous interchanges in realtime. This implies that they generate nothing less than new modes of subjectivity. Although maps have to some extent always fulfilled these functions, what is different today are the technologies at our disposal, which not only generate new dynamic spaces but which also enable and challenge us to come up with new strategies of mapping allowing for both improvisational and subjective positioning in constant negotiations for space.
This development has been increasingly interrogated by digital artists. Seeing the need to create new mapping strategies, these artists have their works even go so far as to imply that the subject-object framework be relinquished for that of an implicated agent and an expansive field in which the agency of any presence is intertwined with other agencies. Such an approach would involve mappings of the intermeshing between agents responding to their environment in ceaseless participation. What would these maps look like? Are we, as some suggest, at the point of entering a new shift of mapping paradigm, similar to the one that occurred in early modernity when the “scientific” maps produced by cartographic projection replaced the illustrated and highly narrative medieval maps? Cartographic research and cyberart join here as such an approach would seem to carry the potential not only for theorizing forms of mapping our rapidly changing technosocial space but also for a fruitful dialogue among art, technology and science. This will be discussed by examining the works by digital artists Stelarc, Char Davis, Rejane Cantoni and Daniela Kutschat.