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Mapping the Life of Things: The Onto-Cartographies of Richard McGuire’s “Here” (2014)

Some theoretical philosophical approaches, such as speculative realism and object-oriented ontology, recently brought objects and their private lives to the foreground, while some pragmatic studies developed concrete applications of ontographical techniques (Bogost, 2012). Interestingly, the concept of mapping/cartography often appeared within object-oriented philosophers’ theoretical complexities. This paper provides comparisons of such recent trends and the field of map studies.

Specifically, this study focuses on a concrete case of onto-cartography, namely the acclaimed graphic novel Here (the 2014 version) by Richard McGuire. Leaving human actors in the background, Here allows the world of things, e.g., inanimate objects, material spaces and natural elements, to speak for itself and to narrate its own story across a temporal frame that exceeds humans. Due to the book’s particular way of spacing time through non-human narration, the graphic novel can be considered pragmatic onto-cartography, which, at this time of convergent media, may suggest creative ways of geovisualising time on maps and dwellings with material spacetimes.


Tania Rossetto


Royal Geographical Society Annual International Conference 2018 | Landscape Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK


30th August 2018