Walking, Witnessing, Mapping: An Interview with Iain Sinclair [chapter]

David Cooper, Les Roberts
2012 Mapping Cultures  
Les Roberts (LR): In Lights Out for the Territory (2003: 142) you write: 'We have to recognise the fundamental untrustworthiness of maps: they are always pressure group publications. They represent special pleading on behalf of some quango with a subversive agenda, something to sell. Maps are a futile compromise between information and knowledge. They require a powerful dose of fiction to bring them to life.' In what ways do maps and mapping practices inform your work as a writer? Iain Sinclair
more » ... (IS): What I've done from the start, I think, has been to try, linguistically, to create maps: my purpose, my point, has always been to create a map of somewhere by which I would know not only myself but a landscape and a place. When I call it a 'map', it is a very generalised form of a scrapbook or a cabinet of curiosities that includes written texts and a lot of photographs. I have what could be a map of the world made entirely of these hundreds and hundreds of snapshots that aren't aesthetically wonderful, necessarily, but are a kind of logging of information, seeing the same things over and over again and creating plural maps that exist in all kinds of times and at the same time. It's not a sense of a map that wants to sell something or to present a particular agenda of any kind; it's a series of structures that don't really take on any other form of description. [FIGURE 1 ABOUT HERE] Figure 1. Map of London from Lud Heat (1975) (Courtesy of Iain Sinclair).
doi:10.1057/9781137025050_5 fatcat:b53uciu2zve23hdtg3ikbuhhna