Big Fag Press

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Mapping Workshop – ideas

Some Mapping ideas

Maps are used for:

Way finding

To make visible something previously not visible

To show relationships between things
– spatial
– causal
– ideological
– fanciful
– geological and social etc

To dominate ( European maps of new world)

To demonstrate ownership (cadastral maps)

To persuade or control ( map showing what school you are allowed to send your kids to, depending where you live)

To market or promote. ( example of North Carolina from Denis woods)

The making of a map can be a form of knowledge production ( ie it doesn’t just show something already known , rather it brings a new piece of knowledge into the world )

• Walk for exactly twenty minutes and map everything you see while you are walking.

• Group of three stands in a line side by side and walks to other end of [given space]. Take 30 minutes to reach your destination (have clock visible). Turn and take 30 minutes to walk back. Map your findings.

• Sit still for exactly twenty minutes and map everything you see

• Select an area in the [space] and draw it faithfully. How can this be a map?

• Map out an area and grid it into square metres (use tape measures, and chalk or string to create this grid) and record this. Take a small sample from each square metre and map this.

• Lie down on your back and record movements of people/animals/sun and wind/clouds

• Map all the rubbish in a given area, retain fragments of the rubbish, discard the rest in a bin.

• Select an area, place yourself in the middle of that area and do a continuous contour line drawing, rotating your body 360 degrees as you progress the drawing. Take 6 minutes, turning at a steady rate, to turn the full 360 degrees. Repeat, but now take 12 minutes. Repeat, but now take 24 minutes. Join each drawing end to end to create a 2-D image of the 360 degree view.

• Record all living and dead things in a chosen area

• 1. Map the birds or lizards that inhabit/move through a space and note their behaviour. 2. Intersect the movements of humans, birds and lizards by mapping their paths

• Explore the history of the space. Draw “ghost maps” of the space in different configurations and overlay.

• Grid an area with string or chalk and do a small drawing of something that lies within each grid square

• Create a new “unit of measurement” based on your body. Measure and plot the dimensions of the space using this unit of measurement.

• Calculate how many people could stand shoulder to shoulder in a chosen space. Can you undertake to gather that amount of people to test this idea? Map results, of course.

• Map the acoustic qualities of a space – echo, flat, resonant etc. What are the material properties that give rise to the acoustic properties? Place two people in the space and see how far apart they can stand while carrying on a normal conversation audibly etc. Document findings in a map.

• Draw a map of the area from memory after spending 15 minutes observing the space. (Map should be created in a different place from the space that you’ve observed)

• Surveillance :
a) where can you be seen from when you are in the area? Is there anywhere in that space where you can’t be seen by others?
b) find a place from which you can survey the area without being seen by those below.

• Thought map: map your thoughts as they occur while sitting in a space. Show how one thought leads to another, diverges, connects with something else. (Bonus – map your feelings as they occur in the space. Think about developing a suitable “legend” to represent these on a map)

• Social map: map the sorts of interactions that occur between people in a given location for a set period of time. Note how the location itself impacts on these interactions.

• Meet every ‘dog person’ that walks past. Get them to plot their home on a large format rough map . Get them to plot their walk itinerary.

Big Fag “O” Day



A Big FAG O-Day
Happy 10th Birthday Big Fag!
Saturday 7th June, 3pm onwards

Big Fag Press
Archway 4, Jubilee Park Oval
Annandale/ Glebe NSW
(under the Jubilee Park light rail stop)

The Big Fag is celebrating its 10th Birthday and our official house warming!

We’ve constructed a temporary gallery space to show some of our best print work to date featuring work by Justin Shoulder, Mirra Whale, Fiona McDonald, Pat Grant, John Demos, Keg de Souza, Ian Milliss and more!

With a sausage sizzle, some sweet tunes, drinks, cake, streamers and fairy floss, we expect to draw a happy crowd!

Throughout the long weekend, our ad-hoc gallery will also be open from 10-4pm, Sunday-Monday June 8-9. We’re also taking this opportunity to launch our brand new program of workshops and activities.

So there will be ‘something for everyone’. Did somebody say fairy floss?


Join our Facebook event!


All of this will unfold in our new space offered by the City of Sydney located in the Glebe Viaducts: “Opening onto the picturesque foreshore park at the end of Glebe Point Road, the heritage-listed viaducts measure 85 square metres each.” Four tonnes of thanks to the City of Sydney for providing this picturesque space as part of its Accommodation Grant SchemeThis project is also assisted by a grant from Arts NSW, an agency of the New South Wales Government and supported by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian State and Territory Governments. The program is administered by the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA).

Green Bans Artist Book on Show

fiona macdonald image

Last year we worked with Fiona MacDonald to produce a gorgeous set of offset lithographic prints exploring the history of the Green Bans in Sydney.

Fiona has adapted some of these prints into a very limited edition artists book, which is on show right now at Grahame Galleries + Editions.

The book is called “Practical Democracy: A Jazz Send-Off”.
The exhibition is called “lessons in history vol. ii – democracy 2″

27 October – 15 December 2012
grahame galleries + editions
1 Fernberg Road
Milton, Brisbane, Qld. Australia 4064

About the work:

Concertina format made from cut down sections of print proofs made at the Big Fag Press, Woolloomooloo, about the Green Bans of the early 1970s as part of a 40th anniversary project. The proofs had used both sides of the paper as the edition was prepared and this seemed like a perfect opportunity to turn the two sides proofs into a book. Box board covers, concertina pages printed offset on Dutch etching paper. Text Geotype. 30.0 x 21.0 cm. Edition of 2.

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