a cartography of the middle of nowhere

publication & mobile billboard

(de-)centring the middle of nowhere (2022)
mobile billboard
Photograph courtesy of the artist

Published by Project Arts Centre
Indigo ink printed on 100gsm Munken Pure Rough, 260gsm Colorplan Green

Softcover with a paper Möbius strip
Single fold-out map
Closed: 125 x 238 mm
Opened: 866 x 707 mm
Designer: Kimberly Goes

a cartography of the middle of nowhere is a charting of spatial ontologies which centre ideals and areas of radical resistance for those who dwell in the margins. Unfolding into a large-scale map, this publication consists of a speculative text, pragmatic diagrams and an exercise for the reader inside.

Transgressing beyond the boundaries of language, a cartography of the middle of nowhere becomes a subjective area of geographic desire wherein each individual’s map is informed by autobiographic, mythologic and embodied performances of the self. Written from the perspective of a queer wayfinder, this map is demarcated by leaky boundaries; edges that expand, dilute and shift to accommodate the evolving environment in which queers and queer desires are situated. Rather than being located in the bullseye, the middle of this queer nowhere becomes decentred as it navigates the encroaching peripheries of somewhere. On the run from a dominant society, the middle is unfixed, ephemeral and fleeting.

With this in mind, the mathematical topology of the Möbius strip becomes the middle of nowhere’s floor plan. Chugging like a conveyor belt of navigation, the reader runs the risk of never securing what they desire yet endure the repetitive cycle of collision, collapse and (re)surfacing in a bid to find it.

In tandem with the publication launch, a mobile billboard, (de-)centring the middle of nowhere, was driven around the island of Ireland. Throughout the day, snippets of the text accompanied by images of the mobile billboard were released on Project Arts Centre’s instagram.

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a cartography of the middle of nowhere and  (de-)centring the middle of nowhere are part of Herlihy’s larger transdisciplinary project the middle of nowhere (2022) at Project Arts Centre, Dublin.

the middle of nowhere was commissioned by Project Arts Centre and kindly supported by the Arts Council of Ireland’s Visual Arts Bursary and Carlow Arts Festival’s Wedge Fund.