Mapping the Unseen is an artistic research project that explores unseen, undiscussed topics, which are absent from public discourse because of their implicit social taboo potential. The research is carried out by means of mapping as a performative intervention, academic research and an inter-active web-archive. Enabling a visualisation of the respective topic and generating dialogue through participatory processes between researchers, artists and the public is at the core of the activity. The project will be implemented in four countries: Croatia, Iran, Bangladesh and Austria.
During the phases of action, the following research questions are in the foreground: How can something be represented that is not present? How can a dialogue unfold a topic no one talks about? How does the unseen appear within a transcultural perspective? What is the significance of the unseen in a transcultural perspective? Programmatically the emphasis of the project will be on a performative and discursive realisation of the topic in question. Research and the implementation of art works will be done simultaneously. Firstly, the project foresees the involvement of local artists. The idea is to create art laboratories, where their work will be put on display in local public space. During this artistic intervention, the project is accompanied by a reflective process with transdisciplinary research as well as qualitative social research such as auto-ethnography, the depth hermeneutic approach in context with the biographical work and a qualitative analysis of the interviews with artists and the audience. Secondly, the project will also be realised in Austria, where parts of the artistic work of the partners will be shown, embedded in the interventions in the public sphere. The purpose of this is to enable an intercultural dialogue on the chosen topic. Central to this is the confrontation with the Austrian field of discourse on the topic, as local artists, NGO’s, researchers and scholars are asked to present their contributions. Furthermore, the reflective process provides a communication and methodological framework during that phase. Thirdly, a virtual room will be created to serve as a transcultural web-archive. Through this mapping an artistic artefact that relates directly to the chosen topic is created. Moreover, it shows all assembled artworks as a cartography, accessible for all people that may be interested. They can access it from anywhere in the world via the Internet. The artefacts shown are embedded in the animated design of the virtual room, itself being a re-interpretation of the original host location. Mapping the Unseen will be released as an interactive web platform in late May 2021, accompanied by lectures and panel discussions.