Seeing the Cosmos: Ross Gibson’s ‘Simultaneous Living Map’


  • Catherine Noske University of Western Australia


Ross Gibson, Vilashini Cooppan, writing place


In its reading of the journals of William Dawes, Ross Gibson’s 26 Views of the Starburst World offers a dynamic vision of the world. His entry into the landscape of Sydney Cove is characterised by and constructed according to the multiple ‘views’ of his title, each of which interrelate in various, shifting ways to coalesce into a narrative. The version of place which emerges is both strange and beautiful, challenging constructs of nation which depend on notions of locality and ‘rootedness’. Gibson’s text thus prompts questions of critical practice before place. What can be achieved in taking up a fragmented writing style? This paper investigates the manner in which Gibson reconstructs concepts of place and space in order to challenge contemporary understandings of the Australian nation. It questions whether or not a similar vision of place can be applied in other contexts, and examines the manner in which place comes to be doubled over in the act of reading.