Ground Maps of an Unknown Prospect

Elpitha Tsoutsounakis

Unknown Prospect is a particular place on a map, but also a body of work surveying so-called public lands through Ochre pigments, design research, printmaking, and artist’s books. Unknown Prospect becomes an iterative atlas of mining sites and their geological memory as told through color. My print work and practice in book binding, combined with architectural training in documents and drawing, have led to an interest in maps and atlases as products of information, communication, narrative, and world-making. I wonder if these products can lead to design ethics and practices that prioritize the relationship between human and more-than-human.

As an alternative to conventional, colonial mapping practices in the United States, Ground Maps are emergent with observations from experience, facts derived and measured by technology, and multiplicities generated by Ochre on the page.

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ELPITHA TSOUTSOUNAKIS (she/her) is a Cretan-American designer, printer, and educator based in so-called Salt Lake City, Utah. She is an Assistant Professor and founding faculty in the Multi-disciplinary Design program at the University of Utah where she teaches design studios, research methods, and visual strategy.  As a first-generation college student raised in an immigrant family she completed her B.S. Architecture at the University of Utah and her M.Arch at the University of Texas at Austin. Her education in architecture informs design research and creative practice in printmaking, book arts, and Ochres engaging issues of design ethics, materiality, ecofeminism, and the human relationship to the more-than-human. She established the Fieldwork Platform to bring together diverse community partners involved in so-called public lands through inter-disciplinary research, education, and publication.

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