Animated maps and the power of the trace
Author(s): Fidotta, Giuseppe
The animated map, a generally overlooked rhetorical device, is questioned throughout this essay as a meaningful and useful case for rethinking the notion of the trace in the analysis of documentary films. Drawing on the debate led by critical cartography since the 1980s the essay discusses the relation between maps, ideology, and propaganda specifically with regard to fascist documentaries made between 1939 and 1942 that are entirely composed with animated maps. Through the notion of the ‘power of the trace’ ‐ the construct warranting the perfect correspondence of image and world ‐ the essay interrogates the misleading use of animated maps in documentary as evidence, informational images, and faithful reproductions of the territory. By looking at the roles played by space, time, materiality, and narrative in animated maps I instead propose an examination of the trace, taking into account the possibilities offered to visual-oriented analysis.
Fidotta, Giuseppe (2014): Animated maps and the power of the trace. In: NECSUS. European Journal of Media Studies 3 (1), 267–298. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5117/NECSUS2014.1.FIDO.