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Pop Filter Event of the Week: Contestational Cartographies Symposium

In case you haven't seen the new Experimental Geography show at Carnegie Mellon's Miller Gallery, this week is your chance to explore the art and go beyond the gallery walls with a slew of free symposium happenings taking place both on and off campus. Co-organized by the gallery along with the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon, Contestational Cartographies features a variety of mind-bending lectures, panels, workshops, and meet-ups.

If every picture tells a story, then according to Experimental Geography, so does every estuary, military base, social network, and cul-de-sac. Equal parts scientist, artist and explorer, the experimental geographer is charged with mining and mapping distinctions between the geographical study and artistic experience of the earth's physical and cultural terrain, revealing hidden meanings where the realms intersect.

On Thurs. Jan. 28, take a road trip through covert military installations, secret prisons and counter intelligence with artist, writer and experimental geographer Trevor Paglen, who will present the talk, Blank Spots on a Map at McConomy Auditorium. Afterward, get your geek on during a special edition of popular salon series, Dorkbot at Brillobox.

For hands-on cartography fun, register for Make a Homemade Video Microscope from a Hacked Webcam, where you will learn how to turn an off-the-shelf webcam into a video microscope equipped to explore microbial lifeforms. During Basic Geographic Information Systems for Artists, Activists and Naturalists, discover how to use GIS to reinvent traditional mapping and convey vital information with plant ecologist and journalist, Jessica McPherson.

Download the symposium's map of activities.

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