Idea Zone

The Cartography of Self

Jessica Tubb

The Cartography of ‘Self ’ is an observation of the ambiguous underlying mechanisms and surface features of three expressions of madness; delusion, dissociation and hallucination, in an attempt to construct a landscape for the less rational self. It is not suppressed but celebrated - after all, we live in a mad world and there is method in the madness.

Controversial psychiatrist R.D. Laing, argued that madness was not a medical condition but a result of the divided self, a conflict between our two persona’s: one being our confidential, authentic self and the other being the fake, normal identity that we portray to the outside world. Arguably, this theory is relevant to the social media obsessed Generation Y, whose concept of ‘self ’ is thought to dissolve in an age of global capitalism and media saturation.

Es Vedra, the small uninhabited rocky island of the south western seaboard of Ibiza, has long been a place of mystery. Could it become the break from reality that our conscious mind desperately seeks? In extreme contrast to the garish bright lights and pounding beats of Ibiza’s notorious strip, can the island become a place that scratches away at the surface of madness, as a device in discovering the line between escapism and psychosis?

In superimposing three acclaimed theories associated with the notion of ‘self ’ and its states of consciousness quite literally onto the island,
a method of detecting moments of insight into madness was conceived. Despite such moments being marked as physical pinpoints on the islands topography, and the location of each psychotic episode’s manifestation being defined through such method, the uncertain path that one must take cannot be specifically seen nor heard, but can only be sensed.