OpenStreetMap Calendar Calendar

A Synesthete's Atlas: Performing Cartography

Gorham, Maine, United States
Russell Hall Theatre

2nd October 2023 18:30 – 20:00

Since April 2022 Eric Theise has been manipulating projected digital maps in collaboration with improvising musicians in Europe and the United States. Constraining his project to use only web mapping technologies, A Synesthete's Atlas is his unique approach to expanded cinema, drawing strategies from experimental film & animation, the Light and Space movement, 1960s light shows, and visual poetry. Although he flippantly calls it "map jockeying", as the tools – and his skills in using them – evolve, the possibilities for expression continue to expand and surprise.

This evening begins with a presentation about Carto-OSC, an assemblage of open source libraries, data, and protocols, plus 1000+ lines of creatively-coded JavaScript that integrates it all into a touch-surface control panel. Theise will discuss his motivations, his use of the Open Sound Control protocol to drive the manipulations, and offer aesthetic observations.

Theise will be joined by The Asthmatic (Sigrid Harmon) for an abbreviated performance and extended Q & A. The performance will occasionally introduce strobing effects that may affect photosensitive viewers.

This event is sponsored by the Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education, and the Department of Theatre at the University of Southern Maine.


Eric Theise is a San Francisco-based artist and geospatial software developer. Through video and realtime performance tools he reinvigorates the perceptual inquiries of structural filmmakers, experimental animators, the Light and Space movement, and 60's light shows, occasionally injecting letterform experiments inspired by visual poetry, as new possibilities in the realm of digital cartography.

The Asthmatic (A.K.A. Sigrid Harmon) has been a fixture in the Maine underground music scene for ten years [now]. She is a self-described one-woman band/sound collage that utilizes vaudevillian stage theatrics, synthesizers, and avant-vocal singing styles to communicate. Her obsession with phonetics, cadence, the formation of thoughts and language has grown into a visceral performance style that strays from speech into what could be described as sounds only found in the animal kingdom.

Created by erictheise