Seed Grant Report: Clancy Wilmott and Before You Were Here

05 Dec, 2023

Seed Grant Report: Clancy Wilmott and Before You Were Here

Clancy Wilmott, one of our ex-comm members, received a faculty seed grant, and below, she discusses the project.

We used the BCNM funding to buy a graphic-optimized computer, which was used to codesign a paper map which is, in honesty, unlike any seen of the Bay Area, using experimental techniques combining GIS, geocomputation and hand drafting (geocomputing, printing, drawing, scanning, at large format). Before You Are Here wrenches open notions of cartographic universality and standardization by utilizing multiple irregular projections and perspectives: it has no top and must be read from multiple angles, it combines a top down view of the Bay’s flatlands with a ground “human” perspective of the hills and valleys, with seasonal star formations from the year before colonization and the year now around the outside.

Sogorea Te’ have been in conversation with Oakland Museum of California, and once the map is complete, it is planned to be launched there (hopefully in Spring ‘24).

We are now working on a digital mapping project using the computer that specifically spatialises historical and contemporary place-based data, histories and memory through spatial-, environmental- and geohumanities (GIS) methods, to produce an interactive, multimedia web map. In doing so, we are combining two strands of innovation both humanities and GIS: a prototype geodatabase built on the principles of Indigenous Data Sovereignty, and experimental cartographic design attuned to an “Indigenous depth of place” (Pierce and Louis, 2008). We have put in a submission to the Mellon Humanities in Place project and hope to hear back soon, and have commenced digitizing in the meantime.