Eric Theise

Eric Theise is a San Francisco-based artist and geospatial software developer. Through videos and performance he reinvigorates the perceptual inquiries of structural filmmakers, experimental animators, the Light and Space movement, and visual poetry as new possibilities in cartography. His concerns include perceptual pleasure and fatigue, geographies of the natural and built environment, and subverting the presumed objectivity and authority of maps.

Since its Lisbon premiere (2022) he's given thirty-plus performances of "A Synesthete's Atlas"–manipulating projected digital maps in collaboration with improvising musicians–across North America. His animation, "If, as it advanced, the countermap's counter twirled the map around and down, spiraling out from Salesforce Tower to Bolinas as unwaveringly as the boléro. (If Map #5)", appeared atop San Francisco's Salesforce Tower throughout February 2024.


Eight Stories High, Comically Lo-Res, Visible for Twenty Miles: Spiraling Maps Atop San Francisco's Salesforce Tower
Eric Theise

Throughout Feburary 2024 my If Map #5, a 10 minute, map-based animation, was displayed atop San Francisco's Salesforce Tower. I'll speak about the use of OpenStreetMap data, Protomaps, MapLibre, and tools ported from electronic music to create the piece, with special attention to the eight story high display's intentionally low resolution. I'll also make reference to my performance cartography practice as a European tour commences in Poland.
Theise will talk about his influences, the crowdsourced data and open source technologies he uses, the challenges of designing for a determinedly low resolution yet enormous, wraparound display, and the joys of collaborating with musicians/sound designers using a wide variety of instrumentation.

Plenary Auditorium