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Tracing Tides

Project: Research


What do weather patterns have to do with slavery? And what is the relation between ospreys and the peat industry?

The aim of this research is to explore the multiplicity of stories that can be found in Morecambe Bay and understand how these relate to each other to construct (and change over time) its identities. To do so, we will invite a group of researchers and practitioners in various fields to a walk in Morecambe Bay, and a collaborative map-making workshop. During the walk and the workshop we will collect and make sense of heterogeneous sets of qualitative and quantitative data. The main objective of the project is to produce an initial prototype of a collaboratively built cartography that will comment on these data. The design of this cartography will constitute a research project in itself, as participants will not only focus on the content, but also propose and design ways in which this can be effectively and meaningfully represented.
Tracing Tides is a research project aimed at exploring how we may promote engagement with edgelands and intertidal places through a map of their natural and historical flows.

Cartography has historically been the practice of tracing on a map the natural or administrative features of a place, and make them visible and legible to the reader. Further, cartography can also be developed to include the traces of the multiplicities of stories that are shaped by and shape a place (including buildings and ruins, historical events, or personal histories).
This research will be situated in Morecambe Bay, an area of constant environmental and historical change happening at different time scales. The many stories of Morecambe Bay are embedded in its seascape and urban and rural landscapes. But the ephemeral and transient nature of stories, histories, and shifting geographies means that the complex identities of the bay can be best captured through the understanding of their temporalities.
Thus, the research project will experiment with ways of combining these two dimensions – space and time – in cartographic processes and artefacts that bring together heterogeneous data and multiple perspectives.

As an initial exploration leading up to a larger project, this research seeks to:
• Understand the characteristics of cartography such that it can capture the complex essence of a place, including dynamic, ephemeral, historical, and subjective data.
• Investigate how a more experiential and pluralistic knowledge of place could enable a better engagement of wayfarers, local communities, and institutions with its pasts, presents, and possible futures.
Effective start/end date1/07/1831/01/19