Extrapolations and Interpolations: Maps that Chart the Unexpected

Affinities

October 23rd, 2013

 

Inspired by Denis Wood’s Everything Sings, this constellation features work that boldly charts the physical world through a cartographic lens. Traditional maps are revised through erasure and addendum, and the invisible materialized. The collection begins with John Cage’s “A Dip in the Lake: Ten Quicksteps, Sixty-two Waltzes, and Fifty-six Marches for Chicago and Vicinity,” tracing Chicago through operations of chance, and concludes with photographs of lichen shaped like the maps of various countries. Extrapolation and interpolation infuse place with unexpected meaning, often subverting the viewer’s expectations.

–Anna Gaissert

 

1.

JOHN CAGE

“A Dip in the Lake: Ten Quicksteps, Sixty-two Waltzes, and Fifty-six Marches for Chicago and Vicinity,” 1978

Critical Cartography John Cage "A Dip in the Lake: Ten Quicksteps, Sixty-two Waltzes, and Fifty-six Marches for Chicago and Vicinity"

(Image: Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago)

“A Dip in the Lake–Ten Quick Steps, Sixty-one Waltzes and Fifty-six Marches for Chicago and Vicinity” (1978) originates as a request from Chicago Magazine and composer Raymond Wilding-White, in 1976. The graphic score (a map of Chicago superimposed coordinates) assembles a chance-determined list of 427 addresses, grouping them in 10 groups of 2, 61 groups of 3 and 56 groups of 4. Cage intended for these locations to be sites for sound recordings–visited, listened to and performed at.

 

 

2.

CONSTANT

from New Babylon 1959-1974

Critical Cartography Constant "New Babylon"

Top, left: Holland, 1963 Top, right: Antwerpen, 1963 Bottom, left: Rotterdam, 1963 Bottom, right: Paris, 1963-1964. (Image: The Activist Drawing: Retracing Situationist Architectures from Constant’s New Babylon to Beyond, edited by Catherine de Zegher and Mark Wigley, MIT Press, 2001)

Designed in 1959-74 by the Situationist artist-architect Constant, New Babylon was intended to be a critique of conventional social structure. The project envisions a futuristic society of total automation in which the need to work is replaced by a nomadic life of creative play and traditional architecture has disintegrated along with the social institutions that it propped up.

 

 

3.

MIGUEL RIOS

from The Geography of Tweets, 2013

Critical Cartography Miguel Rios "The Geography of Tweets"

 

Rios, manager of Twitter’s Visual Insights team, has created a data visualization of every geotagged tweet since 2009. Through large-scale data analysis and computational social science come a vision of how we move, where we live, and where we congregate in the largest numbers.

 

 

4.

DENIS WOOD

from Everything Sings: Maps for a Narrative Atlas, 2013

Critical Cartography Denis Wood "Everything Sings: Maps for a Narrative Atlas"

“Signs for Strangers”

Critical Cartography Denis Wood "Everything Sings: Maps for a Narrative Atlas"

“Squirrel Highways”

Critical Cartography Denis Wood "Everything Sings: Maps for a Narrative Atlas"

“Pool of Light”

First stripping away the extraneous “map crap” to trace his Boylan Heights neighborhood in Raleigh, North Carolina, iconoclastic geographer Denis Wood then locates the revelatory in the seemingly insignificant, the overlooked, and the invisible. “Signs for Strangers” shows the flow of traffic of those alien to the neighborhood: they, not the residents themselves, need signs to know what to do and where to go. “Squirrel Highways” maps the various intricacies of lines and wires overhead, and “Pools of Lights” shows where the light falls from the street lamps lit at night.

 

5.

KATHY PRENDERGAST

from City Drawings, 1997

Critical Cartography Kathy Prendergast "City Drawings"

 

Prendergast’s City Drawings are based on contemporary maps of the world’s capital cities, but they deliberately bypass systems of orientation and classification.

 

 

6.

STEPHEN WALTER

details from THE ISLAND: London Series, 2006-2008

Critical Cartography Stephen Walter “THE ISLAND: London Series"

Critical Cartography Stephen Walter “THE ISLAND: London Series"
Walter’s map of London is drawn in painstaking detail, his work packed with visual and textual information, building up layers of complexity between the reality of place and the subjectivity of his gaze.

 

 

7.

RICHARD KRAFT

“Los Angeles Freeway Map,” 2004

Critical Cartography Richard Kraft "Los Angeles Freeway Map"

Critical Cartography Richard Kraft "Los Angeles Freeway Map"

Critical Cartography Richard Kraft "Los Angeles Freeway Map"

 

Kraft systematically replaces the names of all the exists in the LA Freeway system using an idiosyncratic and categorical naming system.

 

 

8.

DAHLIA ELSAYED

“Some Heavy Indulgences,” 2009

Critical Cartography Dahlia Elsayed "Some Heavy Indulgences"

(Image: Urban Omnibus)

Psychogeographer Dahlia Elsayed captures the emotional resonance of New York City from her own perspective.

 

 

9.

RONI HORN

detail from “Through 5,” 2008

Critical Cartography Roni Horn "Through 5"

(Image: Roni Horn aka Roni Horn by Donna De Salvo, Carter E. Foster, Mark Godfrey, and Roni Horn. Essay by Briony Fer. Whitney Museum of American Art and Steidl, 2009)

“Through 5” evokes Icelandic topography and displays distinctively maplike lines. The drawing is part of a series influenced by the country’s geography.

 

 

10.

EMMA MCNALLY

2009

Critical Cartography Emily McNally

Left: C5 Right: C2

Planes and connections, intersecting squares, circles and dots in McNally’s graphite illustrations form imagined, grid-like networks.

 

 

11.

SUZANNE TREISTER

from 20 CIA Black Sites, 2010

Critical Cartography Suzanne Treister "20 CIA Black Sites"

Critical Cartography Suzanne Treister "20 CIA Black Sites"

 

Influenced by artist Kazimir Malevich, Treister draws abstracted maps of secret, CIA-run detention centers and research facilities located in Thailand, Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Afghanistan and Kosovo.

 

 

12.

NANCY GRAVES

from Lithographs Based on Geologic Maps of Lunar Orbiter and Apollo Landing Sites, 1972

Critical Cartography Nancy Graves "Lithographs Based on Geologic Maps of Lunar Orbiter and Apollo Landing Sites"

(Image: 4izq)

Graves’s series of pointillist prints are based on her drawings of geologic maps of the moon’s surface, which she ordered from NASA in 1971.

 

 

13.

NINA KATCHADOURIAN

from Moss Maps, 1992

Critical Cartography Nina Katchadourian "Moss Maps"

Katchadourian affixed rub-on letters directly to the moss with the names of places she recognized, assembling a photo collection of lichens that resemble islands and continents.

 

 

FURTHER READING:

The Power of Maps by Denis Wood with John Fels and John Krygier, Guilford Press, 2010

You Are Here: Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination by Katharine Harmon, Princeton Architectural Press, 2003

The Map as Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography by Katharine Harmon and Gayle Clemans, Princeton Architectural Press, 2009

An Atlas of Radical Cartography by Alexis Bhagat and Lize Mogel, Journal of Aesthetics and Protest Press, 2008

Maps are Territories: Science is an Atlas by David Turnbull, University of Chicago Press, 1994

The Exposed City: Mapping the Urban Invisibles by Nadia Amoroso, Routledge, 2010

Close Up at a Distance: Mapping, Technology, and Politics by Laura Kurgan, Zone Books, 2013