Ten years ago, in 2002, we completed a major 5 year collaboration between myself, filmmaker and artist Andrew Kötting and the neurologist Dr Mark Lythgoe. The project, Mapping Perception, had been an extraordinary journey for us exploring the membrane between our perceptions of ability and disability, through the prism of impaired brain function. Andrew’s daughter, Eden, who was born with a congenital syndrome called Joubert’s (which causes the cerebellum to remain underdeveloped) was both the inspiration for this project and its heart. For the project we produced a major site-specific installation, a 35mm 37 minute film and a publication and CD-Rom.
On Monday 19th March the BFI is to release a new DVD (which includes the Mapping Perception film as a special feature) of Andrew’s latest film, This Our Still Life – a portrait of Eden now grown into a young woman. We’re really excited that MP is present on the DVD as it will mean a whole new audience for the work and are teaming up with the BFI to provide 50 free copies of the Mapping Perception Book & CD-Rom for people ordering the DVD (more details / link to come).
Mapping is not only about exploring and depicting a portion of territory but it can also entail travelling into, investigating and representing some unfamiliar trails inside people’s mind: setting the boundaries and drawing the many trajectories collective consciousness can cover. “The human landscape can be read as a landscape of exclusion”, starts David Sibley in Geographies of Exclusion, and the same organization and orchestration of space follows the construction and position of the self related to the category of the other and the wider context of society. If we look at our surroundings as the phenomenal embodiment of our shared imagination, then we will decipher not only the imprint of power in its many forms but also the scattered marks left by individual imageries. Alternative, subaltern stories, all those visions that are thought not to fit in, because they belong to the other side of the fence, where all that is not pure enough, according to a set of ready-made prerequisites, is dropped off.
Mapping Perception was a four year collaboration between Giles Lane, curator and producer, Andrew Kötting, the acclaimed director of Gallivant and This Filthy Earth, and Mark Lythgoe, neurophysiologist at the Institute of Child Health, London with the participation of Eden Kötting.
Mapping Perception examined the limits of human perception through an investigation of impaired brain function, making visible the connections between scientific and artistic explorations of the human condition, probing the thin membrane between the able and the disabled.
At the heart of the project is Eden, Andrew’s daughter. She was born at Guy’s Hospital, London, in 1988 with a rare genetic disorder – Joubert Syndrome – causing cereberal vermis hypoplasia and several other neurological complications. Eden participated in the project as both a catalyst and a cypher for a more general investigation into how we see the world and perceive difference.
Mapping Perception has four main outcomes:
- a 37 minute 35mm film
- an immersive & environmental sensory installation
- a book & CD-ROM (buy online)
- a website
Team: Giles Lane, Andrew Kötting, Mark Lythgoe, Alice Angus, Catherine Williams
Funded by Sciart Consortium (Production Award), Film Council (National Lottery Award), London Production Fund, Caloutse Gulbenkian Foundation and South East Arts.
An 80 page book and CD-ROM accompanying the film and installation, the book contains illustrated texts by Janna Levin, Giles Lane, Mark Lythgoe, Andrew & Eden Kotting and Toby McMillan and contributions from scientists at the Institute of Child Health and the University of Washington.
“An exemplary undertaking of great precision and reach”
Gareth Evans, Artists Newsletter, February 2003
Book edited by Giles Lane & Katrina Jungnickel with Mark Lythgoe
Designed by Allyson Waller
CD-ROM edited by Alice Angus
Designed by Nima Falatoori, NMoDesign
Paperback 80 pages, 180 colour images ISBN: 1 901540 21 9
Published October 2002
Price £12.00 – Buy Online
Excerpts from the installation version of Mapping Perception (2002).
Film version, 37 minutes.
Installation version 45 minutes (looped).