You have to be either gazing out over the sea or find yourself somewhere quite remote, not to be daily confronted with diverse writing activities. These take place inside or on top of objects, such as (note) books, diaries, maps, flyers, and other daily ephemera. You come across them in rooms, on tables, in streets and on signboards – in public and private spaces. I’m mainly interested in the cartographic and the ephemeral – in the places where writing traces a line of movement or thought on the page. Places, where a physical gesture or thought pre-exists or where a drawn or printed line follows a movement or thought. These places begin with drawing a space, typing on a keyboard or making a mark with a pencil. The resulting lines or words are traces of a physical activity. They can be linked by the place they represent, for example Copenhagen, but also by the specific position they occupy on the page, for example the top left corner. The meaning of these lines and words is largely dependent on the writing tools and writing surface, as well as in relation to their arrangement and the context, which link these elements. I call these writing activities archi-textual. They are principal ways of mapping writing and drawing activities into their respective image-forms.
The image-forms’ underlying mode of production or the process of being drawn takes an active part in creating a place of writing. Having entered the exhibition space and walked through the entrance hallway – up the stairs, to the gallery – you might have encountered some of these places: poetic fragments rendered in books and on walls, entangled threads, non-verbal routes, drawing sequences, and fictional maps of Hasselt, Amsterdam, and Brussels. The works themselves and the way in which they have been assembled retrace a route, space after space, in the Cultural Centre Hasselt. Next to the aforementioned works and the reference material interspersed throughout the book, the project also includes two essays: ‘The Obsolescence of Writing’ by Zlatko Wurzberg and ‘Between’ about the interface between writing, drawing and mapping by Clemens von Lucius. The catalogue is available in print as well as online. Both have been developed in collaboration with Toni Uroda.
And, once you have made your way through the gallery, you take the stairs back down and leave the building.