As a collective we are exploring systems of mapping to help us see our path and create new opportunities to intersect with others. In early January 2014 we visited Dodda Alada Mara, situated in the village of Kettohalli on the outskirts of Bangalore. This giant, 400-year-old Banyan tree has a crown circumference of more than 250 meters and more than 1,000 aerial roots that span across four acres. It is a site that is visually arresting, inhabited by monkeys, spiritual leaders, and global visitors. The sheer scale of this site called us to explore, survey, and map.
While preparing for this participatory mapping survey, we compared the daylight and nocturnal lives of our collective group. This interstitial place is where we work together most of the time—it is the space of our virtual lives together. The night sky became a research model to explore our first mapping project. Working with the star system Pleiades, we used this as a metaphorical tool to map ourselves onto the root systems of the great Banyan tree of Dodda Alada Mara.