A cadastre is a map -- ostensibly a bureaucratic one -- that demarcates property lines, land values, boundaries, plats. Cadastres were used by the Romans to secure their empire; by William the Conqueror to excise ostensible back-taxes owed by the conquered; and by countless capitalist governments from Napoleon to the US' Bureau of Land Management to turn land into a nation-state.
But in this context of acquisition, the concept of the cadastre leaves room for negotiation, for exploring the fissures between boundaries, and for finding ways to play with scale between the local and the large. A writer's cadastre, then, is a map intended to break through the bureaucratic formality of the mundane; to illustrate what remains invisible between boundary lines. It constitutes a challenge to the purposes most commonly ascribed to cartography.
This blog will explore any number of topics -- if you've looked at my site you know by now they will most likely be related to science, animals, and America! -- with an eye towards destabilizing the assumptions that, like the contours of a cadastre, stymie our abilities to see the underlying complexities of what we're looking at. Let's explore.