In Conversation

End Point


Unknown Point
and CD








End Point

Without specific places in the land, triangulation is impossible. To find the unknown point, two exactly known points are needed; the other is calculated from them. Next, these measured points are used as resources for constructing a map. They assume that a cultural code, triangulation, is known and accepted as accurate.

However, only the measurements are concise. A map itself carries a set of cultural assumptions and specific intentions. It begins by assuming that a number of agreed notations and visual signs can define and make usable a two dimensional system of references to three-dimensional places. There are similarities to the coding of landscape painting and to this project. These notations act as metaphors for their sources.

A map carries whatever references a map-maker wishes to state or infer. An obvious example in European culture is Mercatorís projection, which stresses the presence of Europe through proportionality expressed in a map as a permanent power symbol. A very different example is an Inuit snow map, which is temporary, indicates where the originator and viewer are, where a destination is and how to reach that point; it also indicates the starting point of a journey. It incorporates a process, similarly to this project.

In Unknown Point, triangulation becomes a metaphor for Anthony Kelly’s and David Stalling’s act of mapping and re-presenting, through sound and object, a specific place, Carlow. The original points of triangulation came into existence in Carlow Institute of Technologyís Library. Unlike other forms of triangulation, these are creatively sited and invented. They are not pre-existing points of land. The unknown point was a site in public parkland.

Similarly to other approaches to triangulation and mapping, these reference points played backwards and forwards with the originators, who had invented them. Source and users acted reciprocally. The library, for example, has its own particular functions, which defined the form of this project - work was for a place where art was not expected, unlike a gallery.

It is the libraryís real, not inferred, space within which this project existed. Unlike in maps, space and distance, sound and visuals, are physically present. Carlow town becomes a gigantic cabinet of curiosities, within which is the library, itself a cabinet of curiosities, within which were the cabinets of curiosities devised by Anthony Kelly and David Stalling. Within these cabinets is the creative reconfiguring of sounds and objects gathered in Carlow.

Unlike traditional cabinets of curiosity, these cabinets and their contents are not boxes with a jumble of sounds and objects inside them. Container and contents were a single perceptual unit. Each unit related creatively to where it has been placed.

These units evolved as groups of two. Each unit was self-sustaining, but needed cross-references to build a stronger presence together. However, it was impossible to see any two in a single glance. Space between them became important as their link. Space inferred their relationship, in the same way as the relationship between triangulation points.

In this project, points as metaphor, inference and physical and creative presence reconfigured the lived experience of a library. At many levels, they built new relationships within the Library and between Library and parkland. These points and the space between subtly and creatively remapped the experience of Carlow.

Seán McCrum
Jan 2010

This text is also included in the Visual Inaugural Exhibition Catalogue which was launched on 16th January 2010 in Visual, Centre for Contemporary Art.


Unknown Point

Anthony Kelly David Stalling

Visualise Carlow April – May 2009


Visualise Carlow is a series of temporary public art projects devised as an advance programme to Visual - The National Centre for Contemporary Art, Carlow.