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Archive for the ‘Deep Map Thoughts’ Category

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Cover of Estelle H. Ries’ opuscule on a miscellany of “lesser arts.”

Estelle H. Ries. The Lovely Lesser Arts: Leather Making, Screens, Map Making, Silhouettes, and What To Do About Nudes (1948). Girard KS: Haldeman-Julius Publications (B-686).

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Ms. Ries here situates makers of maps among other lesser artists – leather toolers, silhouette cutters, screen decorators, and carvers of ivory. Ries concludes her work with a few comments on the dreaded nude:

What to do about nudes, if anything, is always more or less of a ticklish problem. No matter how 20th-century we are or wish to be, some of us have inherited enough from the Mauve Decade, or have been surrounded by the traditions of Victorianism to such an extent, that the very word, Nude, is often veiled in whispers even if the object itself is veiled in nothing more than the atmosphere.

As for maps and their makers, Ries has many thoughts:

The first matters to be charted were direction and distance and these are still essential to every map. If you hear of that better place you can keep going until you get there if you but travel in the right direction. (p. 12)

Having north at the top of the map, we are used to the shapes of countries in this position. It would be the same world if we turned it upside down and had the south at the top, but try it once and you will see how unfamiliar and confusing it looks so. Yet the world is so upside down in most particulars right now, that perhaps it would be more true to print the maps that way after all. (p. 12)

In the jungles of Bengal they have a custom of breaking a branch from the wayside, and when it wilts it is considered that a krosh has been traveled. They do not realize that this varies with the season the type of tree from which the branch is taken, the speed of the walker or his idea of wilting! (p. 13)

One long-established concern publishing maps is in touch with all foreign governments through a branch office in Washington which contacts all the embassies. They consider a man in their cartography department an apprentice for the first three or four years of service which will give you a clue to the difficulty and importance of this type of work. (p. 15).

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The full text of section III, “The Human Side of Map Making,” from The Lovely Lesser Arts is below. A PDF (13.3 mb) of the entire 30 page booklet is here.

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III. THE HUMAN SIDE OF MAP MAKING

Once upon a time the nations of the world knew little or nothing of one another: The hazards of travel in an uncharted world prevented people from going far afield. What lay beyond the horizon? Who dwelt there? These questions were answered by silence or by mythical imaginings. But necessity and curiosity joined hands and impelled discovery of these unknown places. Which way to a better land? How far to more fertile ground? These questions were answered by a map.

The first matters to be charted were direction and distance and these are still essential to every map. If you hear of that better place you can keep going until you get there if you but travel in the right direction.

To get this sense of direction you must start from somewhere. Today maps have the true north at the top. This was not always so. The religious movements of the Middle Ages developed special reverence for the East. Paradise itself was represented on the maps and was supposed to be in the Garden of Eden, in the East. But Paradise was Heaven, and Heaven was above, so the East was at the top of the map and there it remained until the compass came along and displaced Paradise by pointing north itself.

Having north at the top of the map, we are used to the shapes of countries in this position. It would be the same world if we turned it upside down and had the south at the top, but try it once and you will see how unfamiliar and confusing it looks so. Yet the world is so upside down in most particulars right now, that perhaps it would be more true to print the maps that way after all.

A map is not earth size, of course, so that distances must be represented to a scale. Otherwise your map is too vague to have much use. It is harder to do this than to get direction because a knowledge of mathematics is needed both to measure distance on the ground and still more to show it on a map. In some parts of India a unit of measurement, the krosh, is given as “two statutory miles, more or less.” In the jungles of Bengal they have a custom of breaking a branch from the wayside, and when it wilts it is considered that a krosh has been traveled. They do not realize that this varies with the season the type of tree from which the branch is taken, the speed of the walker or his idea of wilting! Obviously mapmaking could not advance far until some facts of mathematics and astronomy could be applied. The best early maps came from Egypt, Babylon, China and Greece where these abilities first flourished.

The absence of such knowledge in most of Europe during the middle ages led the monks who made the maps never to leave any blank space on a map. To do so was an open confession of ignorance. They filled up all vacant areas with elaborate decorations-sometimes of fantastic creatures, or of legendary tales. Through the 18th century maps were decorative rather than practical, truly works of art, and are even now collectors’ items of rich beauty. Perhaps as an alibi to conceal their lack of accurate data, the idea was allowed to get around that accurate observations would be of value to trade rivals or enemies.

Of course, there were always some serious geographers who tried to promote accuracy in maps. Ptolemy, a famous Egyptian astronomer of the 2nd century, was first to draw the equator upon a globe and measure off the lines of latitude and longitude. Such lines, he explained, would locate any place on the map better than any amount of description. He also pointed out that a flat sheet of papyrus or paper would not fit around a sphere and that flat maps would involve too much distortion to be accurate. For a long time he pondered, “How can I show a map of the globe on a flat surface without too much distortion?” And then he had an idea. He took a cone and fitted a piece of papyrus around it tightly. It went on without any bulges, and when he took it off, it could be flattened out. He placed the cone, which was hollow, over the globe as far as the equator and drew his lines upon it. Then he took another cone going from the South Pole to the equator, and so invented the conical projection for flat maps. Ptolemy’s contributions to map-making were of great importance, but during the centuries new discoveries were made which were not on his maps. Moreover they had some inaccuracies of their own due to the unreliability of his sources, although his scientific methods were correct.

Mercator, a Flemish mathematician in the 16th century recognized the troubles with the earlier maps and decided to make something that would combine their advantages and remove their faults. Where Ptolemy used a conical projection, Mercator devised one based on a cylinder, and this solved the problems he had set himself.

The difficulties of making a map increase when we try to show on a flat surface the variations in height such as hills or mountains, yet their importance is too great to overlook. Mountains are not only a distinguishing physical characteristic of a region, but they affect rainfall and climate; they are the sources of rivers; they influence the amount of timber or the agricultural conditions; they serve as political boundaries and in many other ways. At first glance it would seem that the best way to show these would be on an actual model. However, models are costly to produce and cumbersome to handle, as they cannot be rolled, bound, folded or otherwise carried around conveniently. Most important, however, there has to be a different scale used for horizontal and vertical distances, else a relief model of the globe without such a difference would show little more in the way of relief inequalities than the skin of an orange. For example, Mount Everest is only 1/2000 of the earth’s diameter. On an 18-inch globe, it is estimated, it would be represented by less than 1/100 of an inch. Thus the highest mountain in the world wouldn’t even show!

A map combines the qualities of a picture and a book. Elevations of mountains or depths in water are depicted by forms of shading. A town is indicated by a dot, a road or river by a line. Codes of color can be employed, and other conventions are customary. The mapmaker must exercise some choice in the matter of naming places. He has to decide whether to use an American form of a foreign town or its native name, or one recently changed as an expression of national self-determination. Koln or Cologne; Dublin or Baile Atha Cliath? Praha or Prague; Munchen or Munich? This grows even more complex if the alphabet used by the natives is not related to a European one. There seems to be quite an assortment of spellings for the names of places in Persia (itself called Iran), China, India and other oriental lands. Maps should, of course, be clear and uncrowded, and the mapmaker should decide at the outset which kinds of things he must emphasize.

Of course, since Mercator’s Atlas appeared in 1585, mapmaking has grown continuously more scientific and accurate. The modern era of discovery and exploration does not consist in the vague adventuring by land and by sea which in a large measure constituted discovery up to the time of Captain Cook-and in some parts of the world long after that time. Today’s cartographers have precision instruments and theoretical knowledge far beyond any then in use. Mapping by airplane, for instance, is one of the newest and most popular methods giving access to hitherto inaccessible places. Telegraph, cable, radio, weather bureau and countless similar services have simplified the work of mapmakers and at the same time have given them far greater responsibilities. There is so much less excuse for them to be other than strictly reliable.

The modern mapmaker is an expert and his results go to experts whereas the early seafarer was more of a rough and ready adventurer who took a long chance hoping for gain, and did not care too much if he lost. By the old methods and equipment much of the world was discovered by accident. Desire for trade and wealth, missionary zeal, piracy, or sheer adventurousness were the usual reasons for exploration. In those times an explorer would ask for a little money to find a land that one could see and profit by. Today explorers like Roy Chapman Andrews require a quarter of a million dollars to explore a portion of the Gobi desert for knowledge of a world buried millions of years ago; not for financial profit in any way but for study of rocks and skeletons to reveal the beginnings of life on earth. It has been pointed out that while Columbus spent only about $2,000 to discover America, Byrd needed over $1,000,000 to enter the Antarctic. He spent nearly $200,000 merely to make a 17-hour trip over the North Polar Sea by air. Few modern explorers are able to take a large scientific staff into the field under a cost of $100,000.

When explorers have mapped the surface of the earth, will the job of mapmaker be finished? By no means. The whole idea has expanded and will continue to do so, for map making means many things to many people. Alexander von Humboldt, for instance, was puzzled by the fact that London was farther north than New York and yet was warmer in winter, while other places in the same latitudes varied in temperature. He began to plot new lines on the map running through places having the same temperatures, just as each line of latitude runs through all places of like distance from the equator. The temperature lines ran zigzag all over the map. He called them isotherms, and today no student of geography can do without his isothermic map. He followed this up with many other queries about the climate, and from his extended travels in South America and elsewhere he remembered certain facts. The height above sea level counts in climate, he knew from some of his own exciting mountain climbs. Mountains affect the rainfall too, he recalled. In his marvelous book, “Cosmos,” the science of physical geography was born, and Humboldt showed us a new way to look at ourselves and our earth.

Following the work of Humboldt and others, Joseph Henry gave us the daily weather map with its high and low-pressure regions and other data. Again, four-fifths of the earth is under water and this is a great field for investigators. Years ago, Lieutenant Maury of the U.S. Navy devoted his life to describing and mapping the sea – its currents, winds, temperatures, depths and many other qualities. Through him, the father of oceanography, navigators can take advantage of the most favorable winds and currents and many other benefits. Other types of explorers, like William Beebe, map the land of the fish, the actual depth and bottom of the sea, while Auguste Piccard did the opposite and soared 10 miles into the stratosphere. John Milne investigated the inside of the earth-the causes of earthquakes, and improved the seismograph which gives warning of impending disasters of this kind. And so today we still live in an age of discovery, and the vague notions of far-off countries give way to the most precise records. Accurate measurements of distances, heights, weather conditions, geological conditions; productive regions of the earth-its oil, minerals, wheat and other economic resources; plant life, animal life, human distribution, wealth maps, health maps-all these open fields of interest, work and achievement.

A basic necessity for compiling up-to-date maps is the collection and analysis of geographic and economic data. Several hundred thousand maps, charts, geographical reports, statistical records, post office guides, survey and exploration reports, historical notes and handbooks from all parts of the world are available for intensive study and research carried on by cartographers. All this research, traveling, surveying, compiling and drawing are essential to the production of the modern map. And today changing conditions make other maps of vital importance. One long-established concern publishing maps is in touch with all foreign governments through a branch office in Washington which contacts all the embassies. They consider a man in their cartography department an apprentice for the first three or four years of service which will give you a clue to the difficulty and importance of this type of work. New or old, maps and mapmaking are powerfully fascinating, bringing the world of war and work, peace and plenty, romance and reality, before our very eyes in a glowing panorama of adventure.

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More information on Unmappable can be found on the Book of Face.

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Céline Boyer: Empreintes (from Céline Boyer)

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Denis Wood’s 2010 book Rethinking the Power of Maps includes a discussion of exhibits devoted to maps created by artists prior to 2010. A significant number of exhibits have opened since the book was published. Map Art Exhibitions, 2010-11 was posted in late 2012, and an update for 2012-13 is below.

Map Art Exhibitions, 2012-13

While we know there were more exhibitions than we cover here – so please note any we’ve overlooked in the comments – the last two years have marked a slackening of interest in map art as the genre is increasingly taken for granted. Map art is gradually seeping into art the way landscape painting did into the Western tradition in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, solidifying its position in the world of art as it loses its novelty.

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Zarina: Dividing Line (Paper Like Skin, Guggenheim)

One thing this means is that map art is beginning to show up in broader bodies of work – as in Zarina Hasmi’s (above) or Erik Parker’s (below) – and in exhibitions on other themes – as in three of shows we’ve included here.

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Eric Parker: Preoccupied (Too Mad to be Scared: Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum)

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Julia Penrose: from Mapping the Future: Where Are You Now?

Mapping The Future: Where Are You Now? Textile Forum South West, Gallery at The Brewhouse Theatre & Arts Centre, Taunton, England, 2012. Following a successful Textiles Forum South West (TFSW) conference, Maps define the future: where are you now? held at Somerset College in 2011, our exhibition here included the work of 35 textile artists reflecting on a variety of map themes. The artists utilized a range of experimental techniques, including delicate hand stitch, felt making, quilting, collage knitting, sculpture as well as digital media. Reviews of the show are posted at the exhibition site, along with descriptions of all the projects. There’s a catalogue too, as well as a DVD of the show.

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Joyce Kozloff: JEEZ (Joyce Kozloff)

Joyce Kozloff: JEEZThe Armory Show Modern, New York, 2012. About JEEZ, which hung at the main entrance of the 2012 Armory Show Modern in New York, Kozloff has said, “JEEZ is my election year piece, a 12’ x 12’ painting based on the Ebstorf map, a 13th century mappa mundi, which depicted Biblical stories and pagan myths within the world as it was then known, with Christ’s body as a symbolic and literal frame. I have inserted and rendered 125 images of Jesus from the history of art and worldwide popular culture – black, Latino, female, Asian; adults and babies; gay and straight; images from the movies and New Age hippies off the Internet – each true to its artistic ideal. As the archetypes and stereotypes accumulate, holy portraits are transformed into a rogue’s gallery of mismatched characters. Seen altogether, this proliferation wryly erodes their power.” Kozloff’s work was also included in a number of the other exhibitions noted here, in exhibitions at D. C. Moore in New York, and elsewhere.

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from Atlas Critique

Atlas critique, Parc Saint Léger, Contemporary Art Centre, Pougues-les-Eaux, France, 2012. The curators of this very interesting show wrote: “Although we are aware of the extent to which cartography as a discipline has been profoundly imbricated in the performative production of the narratives of modernity, in objective and positivist rationality, but also the history of colonialism and nationalistic constructions, for artists today, it has become a privileged site for the invention of counter-practices that open up new perspectives and participate in a deconstruction of hegemonies and post-colonial epistemologies as alternative tools for the production of knowledges, narratives and realities.” In demonstration of this they showed the work of, Francis Alÿs, Erick Beltrán, Berger & Berger, Border Art Workshop [a San Diego-based collaborative], Mark Boulos, Lewis Carroll / Henry Holiday, Chto delat? [a Russian art collective], Fernand Deligny, Michael Druks, Claire Fontaine, Internacional Errorista [an international art movement], Pedro Lasch, Vincent Meessen, Nástio Mosquito, Estefanía Peñafiel Loaiza, Lia Perjovschi, Radek Community+Dmitri Gutov [Moscow-based group], Philippe Rekacewicz, R.E.P. Group [a Ukrainian art collective], Allan Sekula & Noël Burch, Société Réaliste [a Parisian cooperative], Stalker [a walking group based in Rome], Endre Tót, David Wojnarowicz / James Wentzy / AIDS Community Television. This was an amazing exhibition, accompanied by conferences, performances, and films.

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Richard Long: A Line Made by Walking (from Contemporary Cartographies: Drawing Thought)

Contemporary Cartographies: Drawing Thought, CaixaForum, Barcelona, Spain, 2012. Curated by Helena Tatay, this important exhibition included more than 140 works by 77 artists, from the classics (Dalí, Debord, Duchamp) to the contemporary (Alÿs, Kentridge, Kuitca), with the goal of “inviting the visitor to question both the systems of representation that we use and the ideas that underpin them.” As the press release put it, “The central aim of this exhibition is, therefore, to explore the ways in which contemporary artists have used cartographic language to subvert traditional systems of representation, propose new formulas or suggest the very impossibility of representing a globalised, ever more chaotic world.”

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Joyce Kozloff: Targets (from The Map as Art, Kemper Museum)

The Map as Art, Kemper Museum. St. Louis, Missouri, 2013. Inspired by Katharine Harmon’s best-selling book, The Map as Art, this exhibition presented work that explored the issue of mapping – whether conceptually or quite literally – while examining systems of personal gesture involved in large-scale works. The exhibition featured more than 30 works by seven artists: Ingrid Calame, Nathan Carter, Tiffany Chung, Joyce Kozloff, Lordy Rodriguez, Robert Walden, and Heidi Whitman, several of whom made presentations in the extensive programming that accompanied the show. It was co-curated by Kemper Museum curator Barbara O’Brien and Katharine Harmon. There was an illustrated gallery card. Sept 14, 2012-April 21, 2013.

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David Reimondo: Patch World Inverso (from MAPPAMUNDI, art et cartography

MAPPAMUNDI, art et cartographie, Hôtel des Arts, Centre d’art du Conseil général du Var, Toulon, 2013. Less pretentious than some shows, but more exciting, MAPPAMUNDI brought together 58 works by 26 artists, a number of them represented in Atlas critique (for example, Stalker) and/or Contemporary Cartographies: Drawing Thought (for example, Kuitca) in a show organized by Guillaume Monsaingeon around three themes: the body, combat, and the tale. Monsaingeon also wrote the fully-illustrated, 190-page catalogue, MAPPAMUNDI, art et cartographie, which opens with a long history of maps and map art. The exhibition included Céline Boyer’s project Empreintes, a collection of photographs of hands, against black backgrounds, on which maps of their places of origin (Senegal, Iran, Spain, and so on) have been superimposed. A 100-page book – all of which fold out – documents Empreintes. Boyer’s project is connected to those in the exhibition of Qin Ga and Kuitca, though indeed this show was rich in resonances.

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Expanded Map (from Expanded Map)

Expanded Map, RM Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand, 2013. Curated by Ruth Watson and James Wylie, who both co-authored the catalogue and have pieces in the show, Expanded Map is an artists show in an artists space. With the exception of Gigi Scaria, Lize Mogel, and Clare Noonan all the artists are locals: Auckland has a rich map art scene! The show was divided into two parts, both of them covered in the color catalogue.

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 Mark Schatz: Universe Hive (From ArtHopper.com)

Universe, The Sculpture Center, Cleveland, Ohio, 2013. Mark Schatz mapped the world in this sprawling, double-sided landscape model built with ideas from architects, planners, hobbyists, and self-taught artists,. The faceted map could be folded up to make a Buckminster Fuller-inspired cuboctohedron; and it drew attention to individual perceptions of ones place, ones residence or “home,” and how it’s all a multifaceted, living, growing experience.

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Samuel Rowlett, Still From “Landscape Painting in the Expanded Field” (from Artfcity.com)

Artists’ Walks: The Persistence of Peripateticism, Dorsky Gallery, New York, 2013. Curated by Earl Miller, this is an example of a show tangential to the world of map art, but in an essential way, for walking, after all was for most of human history how we came to know the world. A lot of peripatetic art still uses maps to document the walks. Here this was the case for the work of Danica Phelps, Gwen MacGregor, and Sandra Rechico. The latter two also organized a piece, “Map It Out (New York),” in which they invited people to map the travels they’d made during the day, and then they assembled the collected drawings into a psychogeographic portrait of New York that hung alongside works by Richard Long, Hamish Fulton, and others. Neat show.

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Joseph Kosuth: From Memory, Draw a Map of the United States (from Huffington Post)

From Memory: Draw a Map of the United States, Sean Kelly Gallery, New York, 2013. This show is the first presentation of a project conceived and produced in 1971-1972 by Hisachika Takahashi. Takahashi, a Japanese artist living in New York, asked twenty-two fellow artists to each draw or paint a map of the United States entirely from memory on the handmade Japanese paper he provided: Arakawa, Jed Bark, Mel Bochner, Juan Downey, Alex Hay, Jasper Johns, Joseph Kosuth, Jeffrey Lew, Jane Logemann, Brice Marden, Gordon Matta-Clark, Richard Nonas, Robert Petersen, Robert Rauschenberg, Dorothea Rockburne, James Rosenquist, Keith Sonnier, Hisachika Takahashi, Cy Twombly, Susan Weil, Lawrence Weiner, Robert Whitman and Don Wyman. It’s a valuable document of the scene and of the map ferment beginning to grip the art world.

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Detail from Nalini Malani and Iftikhar Dadi: Bloodlines (from IndiWeek)

Lines of Control: Partition as a Productive Space, Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, 2013-14. This is another show at once tangential to map art and yet concerned with an essential map element: lines of control. The lines of control in this case are mostly borders through contested areas (India/Pakistan, Israel/Palestine, Mexico/US, and so on). Green Cardamom brought together more than thirty contemporary artists (from Francis Alÿs to Muhammad Zeeshan) and a host of other contributors (including Iftikhar Dadi and Irit Rogoff) to mount a ceaselessly stimulating exhibition, first in 2012 at Cornell and then in 2013-14 at Duke. It spawned a 240-page full-color catalogue. A great stimulating show and a terrific catalogue!

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Maya Lin: Blue Lake Pass (from IndiWeek)

Surveying the Terrain, Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh, 2013-14. While Lines of Control was up at Duke in Durham, across the Triangle in Raleigh, CAM was showing Surveying the Terrain, another show tangential to map art, yet equally concerned with an essential subject; or, as the gallery brochure put it, “Surveying the Terrain explores contemporary artworks that map our terrain.” Curated by Dan Solomon, it featured ten artists including Alfredo Jaar, Laura Kurgan, Maya Lin, and Trevor Paglen. Beautiful work!

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(from Bronx River Art)

MAPnificent! Artists Use Maps, Bronx River Art Center, New York, 2013-14. Curated by Yulia Tikhonova, this show’s 18 artists – among whom were Paula Scher and Mannahatta – approached the map from every direction. This may have been the year’s most classic map art show, a fading form.

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Roosmarijn Pallandt (from Roosmarijnpallandt.com)

Unmapping the World, EXD’13 / Instituto de Investigação Científica Tropical, Palácio dos Condes da Calheta, Lisbon, Portugal, 2013. Part of Experimental International Design Biennial 2013, and curated by Annelids de Vet (of the Subjective Atlas of … fame) and Nuno Coelho, the exhibit was “an exploration into the field of reactive map making practices. It aims to counterpoise the apparent neutrality of professional cartography through contemporary engaged mapping projects. In this exhibition, ways of mapping are used to resist the authority of state, to question ruling power structures and to expose the propensity of maps to simplify our world. The act of uncapping is presented as a poetic form of resistance.” And so much more!

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Across the Wall: Israeli Settlement Bus Routes: Ahmad Barclay & Polypod (from Visualizing Palestine)

The Cartography of the Unseen, The Research Gallery, Holon Institute of Technology, Holon, Israel, 2013. This exhibition dealt with “the political reading of the overt and covert mechanisms embedded in the act of cartography, by exposing the ideological aspects, as well as the solicitation to action performed through mapping. The exhibition analyses the ways in which the design of maps conditions the very interpretation of them, and examines how the act of mapping affects the reorganization of the mapped territory.” Thirteen projects from as many territories were presented, including work from both Israel and Palestine. Radical presentation!

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I Don’t Want To But I Will: Title Page of Denis Wood’s Dissertation

Throughout graduate school I heard tales of the Denis Wood’s outrageous dissertation, curiously titled I Don’t Want To But I Will. Of particular interest are the scathing Acknowledgments, where Denis took his advisors to task. A worn copy of the Acknowledgments was passed among grad students as a bit of intellectual contraband.

But the content was what was most important. It’s a crazy dissertation. It’s about maps, mental maps, getting kicked off a bus, psychogeography, single element veridicality analysis, Europe, cartography, Kevin Lynch, passed-out subjects, Peter Gould, psychogeomorphology, the Shirelles, and the invention of “Environmental a” – a language for mapping. Among other things. It is driving the wrong way down the one-way-street of academia.

The dissertation was printed in a very limited number by the Clark University Cartographic Laboratory. Denis has recently made available a PDF of this never-really-in-print gem. I have reproduced Denis’ comments on the different chapters in the dissertation, along with links to the entire document and each chapter, from his web pages (here).

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I DON’T WANT TO, BUT I WILL

By Denis Wood

1973

Download it by chapters (below) or as a single 685-page document.

The front matter, including the dedication (by the Shirelles), the notorious acknowledgements (my unhelpful faculty and the rare humans), credits (as in a movie), and Introduction (opening with Ed’s story, a night watchman on the edge of Castle Hill park, and going on to talk about psychogeography and various kinds of mental maps).

PART I: Psyching Up for the Trip (a sort of philosophy section).

Chapter 1: The Beginning of All This (“How would you like to go to Europe this summer?” Bob Beck asked me; and the design of the study).

Chapter 2: Some Relevant Ancestors (individual, consensual, and standard mental maps, Peter Gould, and Kevin Lynch; or, what passes in the trade for the “review of the literature”).

Chapter 3: The Study Tools (Bob and I invent Environmental a, a mapping language).

Chapter 4: The Study Starts Before the Trip (long-distance training in Environmental a and the “predictive morphologies” of London, Rome, and Paris).

PART II: The Trip or Denis’ Inferno (the novelesque part).

Chapter 5: What Others Have Thought of Travel (a bouquet of quotations about travel).

Chapter 6: A Terminal Wet Towel (Bob and I meet the Group L kids at Kennedy and what happens after that).

Chapter 7: A Day on a Tour (the first day: I will show you blood in a handful of data).

Chapter 8: Down and Out in London (the week in London).

Chapter 9: Parnassus in Innsbruck (and one of the kids ODs or, well, just passes out).

Chapter 10: When in Rome, Don’t Do as I Did (in which I get drunk and kicked off the bus).

Chapter 11: Kid’s Lib, or Aristocracy in Exile (in which the kids take control of the research and collect all the Paris data).

Chapter 12: Old Tours Never Die, They Just Fade Away (in which, months later, a bunch of us get together again for a weekend in New York).

PART III: After the Trip; or What’s in Klein’s Bottle (the “science” part of the dissertation).

Chapter 13: Tripping and Tracing through the Data (trace events; or the crumbs of the cookies left for Santa).

Chapter 14: The Content of the Tour (applying Lynchian content analysis to the traces left by the Group L kids).

Chapter 15: Travel Connections (or trying to wrap graph theory around the kids sketch maps).

Chapter 16: Hanging Out the Rivers to Dry (trying to read the maps through something I called single element veridicality analysis).

Chapter 17: Pagan Curves, Lincoln Variations, and Eber Aberrations (or the quest for the warped space of human experience and psychogeomorphology).

Chapter 18: Bigger is Better – Or Worse (you draw what you feel; or, the analysis of the areal and feelin overlays).

Chapter 19: You Are Where You Sit (the analysis of the bus seating charts and their relation to the maps; or, Fixers, Mixers, and Rangers).

Chapter 20: That’s the End of the Movie! ! ? ? ! ? ? (which is a whole long list of “conclusionettes” that concludes, “That the subject can have the first, last and most comprehensive word on the subject of the investigation itself, specifically that: I DIDN’T WANT TO, BUT I DID.”

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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Eduardo Abaroa
Proposal: We Just Need a Larger World, 2008 (detail)
Construction wire, papier maché, world map cutouts and steel pins, 130cm x 130cm x 130cm
Courtesy of the Artist and kurimanzutto gallery, Mexico City
From the Uneven Geographies Show at Nottingham Contemporary.

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Denis Wood’s 2010 book Rethinking the Power of Maps includes a discussion of exhibits devoted to maps created by artists prior to 2010. A significant number of exhibits have opened since the book was published, and Denis supplies an update below.

Map Art Exhibitions, 2010-11

Long before the emergence of critical cartography in the 1980s (at the hands of Fels and Wood, Harley, Rundstrom, Pickles, etc.), artists had been critiquing the map from every conceivable perspective. In 1929, for example, Paul Éluard edited the world map to better conform to notions of Surrealist desire; in 1943 Joaquín Torres-García turned it upside down to make it better accord with South American points of view; in 1960 Jasper Johns slathered oil paint all over the map’s pretensions to accuracy and precision; in 1966 Claes Oldenburg blew the map off the page by stuffing it with kapok; in 1969 John Baldessari literalized map type by photographing on the ground the letters C, A, L, I F, O, R, N, I, and A where they appeared on a state map; in 1971 Alighiero Boetti embroidered the map’s servitude to the state in national flags, again and again. Artists attacked the map, mocked it, contested it, made fun of it, turned it into a joke, emptied it of meaning, erased it, distorted it, reconstructed it, and in the process revealed it for what it was, a human artifact – like a magazine advertisement for Cadillac or a billboard for Luck Strikes – albeit one with legal pretensions in the domain of borders (from national borders all the way down to those of private property).

By the time the 1980s rolled around map art was a rapidly growing phenomenon. One index to this was the ever-growing numbers of group shows devoted to map art and what follows is a catalogue of the 2010-2011 map art shows that have come to our attention (thanks to the sharp eyes of Lize Mogel and kanarinka especially). We’re certain there were more and beg you to note them in the comments. We’ll make certain to update the list.

During the period Nato Thompson’s Experimental Geography exhibition continued to travel, as did Lize Mogel and Alexis Bhagat’s Atlas of Radical Cartography; and the intense activity finally drew the attention of Artnews which devoted two pages in its October, 2010 issue to map art. The piece not only covered Experimental Geography and the Atlas of Radical Cartography, but drew attention to Rebecca Solnit’s Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas. Solnit and Denis Wood appeared together at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books with her Infinite City and his Everything Sings: Maps for a Narrative Atlas (with an introduction by Ira Glass). A casual survey of the data suggests that Joyce Kozloff remains the most widely exhibited map artist but, especially with the continued travelling of Experimental Geography and the Atlas of Radical Cartography, Lize Mogel and Trevor Paglen are giving her a run for the money (artists whose work is more varied would be hard to imagine).

It’s worth noting that 2010 was a banner year for map art atlases too. The publication of Everything Sings was posted here at Makingmaps.net, but Rebecca Solnit’s celebrated Infitinte City: A San Francisco Atlas also needs to be mentioned, along with another, wholly different, San Francisco-map art atlas, Tracing the Portola: A San Francisco Neighborhood Atlas from, Kate Connell and Oscar Melara. Both Tracing the Portola and Infinite City were also released as broadside posters.

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Mapping Spectral Spaces, Virginia Tech College of Architecture and Urban Studies, Blacksburg (VA), 2010. “How have residual marks [including maps] been created, left, and remembered? How might we conceptualize these afterlives and effects of experiences, perceptions, processes, and events?” Curated by Deb Sim, the exhibition displayed the work of Chris Baeumler, Iain Biggs, Laurie Beth Clark, Gülgün Kayim, Rebecca Krinke, Mary Modeen, Mona Smith, Judith Tucker and Dane Webster. Download the 40-page, full-color catalogue at the web site.

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You Are Here: Mapping the Psychogeography of New York City, Pratt Manhattan Gallery, New York, 2010. This show, curated by You Are Here’s Katherine Harmon, wanted to “map the emotional terrain of the world’s most famous and influential urban center, New York City, and explore the effect of the city’s powerful moods on those who live and work here.” The show included Nicola Twilley’s Scratch ‘N Sniff NYC, Nina Katchadourian’s New York Soundtrack, Daniela Kostova and Olivia Robertson’s Anxiety Map, and Ingrid Burrington’s Loneliness Map, among others.

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Julie Mehretu: Grey Area, Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2010. “Asking what it means to be an American artist in Germany during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars of the Bush years, Mehretu’s canvases meditate on the idea of the modern ruin,” in “maplike networks” of lines evoking trade routes and shapes drawn from architectural plans, city plans, and aerial imagery. The show is accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue.

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Mapping: Outside/Inside, Borowsky Gallery (Gershman Y), Philadelphia, 2010. “Four artists who use maps to bend our understanding of the outside world, including Leila Daw, Joyce Kozloff, Eve Andree Laramee, and Nikolas Schiller.” The show seems to have been curated by Schiller. No catalogue. MarieE posted shots of the show at the URL above.

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Creative Compass, Royal Geographical Society, London, 2010. Maps from the Society’s collection together with newly commissioned map art from Agnès Poitevin-Navarre and Susan Stockwell. It was accompanied by a 32-page illustrated color catalogue, with an essay by Dr Harriet Hawkins and artist interviews by Paul Goodwin. There’s a slide show at the URL above.

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Uneven Geographies, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, 2010. “Uneven Geographies considers ways contemporary art responds to the politics of globalization through the work of fourteen artists and artist-collectives from twelve countries and five continents.” The artists are: Éduardo Abaroa, Azzellini & Ressler, Yto Barrada, Ursula Biemann, Bureau d’Études, Öyvind Fahlström, Goldin + Senneby, Mark Lombardi, Steve McQueen, Cildo Meireles, George Osodi, Bruno Serralongue, Mladen Stilinović, and Yang Zhenzhong.
The 62-page catalogue is available as a download at the URL above.

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Joyce Kozloff: Navigational Triangles, DC Moore, New York, 2010. “Long before Google Maps or GPS, seafarers used navigational triangles to pinpoint their location and to chart their course in relation to celestial bodies and the earth’s poles. This exhibition comprises paintings and mixed media works that expand upon this concept and continue the artist’s longstanding engagement with cross-cultural issues.” The show also included pieces from Kozloff’s newest series, China Is Near (Charta, Milan, 2010, with an essay by Barbara Pollack).

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Mapworks: the Map as Art, Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Sebastopol (CA), 2010. Juried by Kim Anno the show included work from Michael Acker, Brian Andrews, Marla Brill, Stephanie Hamilton, Lee Millard, Michele Morehouse, Tofu S, Kathleen Yorba and others. No catalogue.

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We Don’t Record Flowers, Said the Cartographer, Bétonsalon, Paris, 2010-2011. Put together by bo-ring (Virginie Bobin and Julia Kläring), the show “takes roots in the appropriation – under various forms and for various reasons – of the desert and its images in modern and postmodern political and cultural history,” that desert, which is “whiteness ‘without qualities’ – or so it is fantasized – and is best captured with maps or planar representations. It is thus an ideal space for projection, inscription, and the forward planning of political fantasies, architectural utopias, scientific expeditions, and some of fiction’s founding narratives.” It included the work of Lara Almarcegui, Louidgi Beltrame, Ursula Biemann, Julien Blanpied, Wang Bing, Tacita Dean, Ellie Ga, Michael Höpfner, Ruth Kaaserer, Yves Mettler, Trevor Paglen, Carson Salter, le Silo, Triple Canopy et José León Cerrillo, and was accompanied by a full slate of programs. There’s plenty more at the URL above,  where you can follow the links to a catalogue site where you can assemble your own catalogue of well over a hundred pages.

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Mapping: Memory and Motion in Contemporary Art, Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah (NY), 2010-2011. “In an era of global culture, artists are increasingly exploring maps as both image and cipher. Mapping: Memory and Motion in Contemporary Art features paintings, works on paper, sculptures, videos, a sound installation, and a live web terminal to address such themes as borders and boundaries, identity and colonialism, journeys – both real and imagined, memory and nostalgia, and tourism and travel.” Curated by Sarah Yanguy, the show included the work of 38 artists and was accompanied by a lovely, 52-page, full-color catalogue. You can download a teacher’s pre-visit pack at the URL above.

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Apamar. Charts, metrics and politics of space, Centre d’Arts Contemporàbies, Barcelona, 2010-2011. “The projects intersect through proposing alternatives to the representation of space, its interpretation and how to live in it,” and “In this sense, Beirut: Mapping Security by Mona Fawaz, Ahmad Gharbieh and Mona Harb, depicts the numerous types of security measures that have been established in municipal Beirut as a result of the armed conflicts the country has witnessed since the 70s. Sara Nelson Wright’s visual mapping of six individuals’ travels in Brooklyn, Locations and Dislocation, is a reflection on the effects of gentrification and urban expansion. In LRPT (La región de los pantalones tranfronterizos), the Tijuana-based collective Torolab makes visible the transnational mobility of the inhabitants of the twin cities of Tijuana and San Diego. Isaki Lacuesta and Isa Campo visit Places that do not exist, and provide us with an account of the reality of these places that have disappeared from Google earth for being protected areas. Geografie dell’Oltrecittà and Agroculture nomadi of Stalker/Primavera Romana are common design projects that generate and share social knowledge and awareness on urban changes, while Guifi.net in Catalunya, Mapeo Colectivo from Iconoclasistas in Buenos Aires, and Mapping the Commons, Athens by Hackitectura.net all spur us into participation with the aim of creating common resources.” The extraordinary show was curated by Maral Mikirditsian, Ramon Parramon and Laia Sole. There’s more at the URL above.

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Raw: Geographies, Reed College Campus, Portland, 2011. “Seeking to transform our physical, social, and individual landscapes, RAW: GEOGRAPHIES explores and reconstructs our experience of space. Entering into the emerging discourse of experimental geographers, radical cartographers, old-school land artists, unruly activists, and stodgy theorists, it resides in the interdisciplinary space of psychogeography, spatial practice, environmentalism, and architecture. A heterogeneous mix of elements that shift pre-inscribed boundaries, RAW: GEOGRAPHIES will suspend the everyday in a space for potentiality and play.” The event showcased the work of Francis Alÿs, Lize Mogel, Melvin Edwards Nelson, Jacinda Russell & Nancy Douthey, Kathy Westwater, Gary Wiseman & Gabe Flores, and Ben Wolf.

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Mapping Joy and Pain, an ongoing project, mostly U.S. (Twin Cities, MN), 2010-2011. Rebecca Krinke’s public map art project consists of a large laser-cut map of Minneapolis and St. Paul (and elsewhere) on which people are encouraged to locate their personal places of joy and pain. Not quite the Atlas of Love and Hate Bill Bunge had in mind, it’s a serious step in that direction. The map or its analogues have been widely displayed (for example, see Mapping Spectral Spaces above), but the home office, with numerous videos, downloadable pdfs, and so on, is at the URL above.

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Mappamundi, an exhibition about maps and contemporary art, Berardo Museum-Foundation, Lisbon, 2011. Another extraordinary show! Curated by Guillaume Monsaingeon, the exhibition assembled an international group of artists who, over the past 40 years, have worked on maps and who have questioned cartographical representation. included the work of Noriko Ambe, Lars Arrhenius, Neal Beggs, Alighiero Boetti, Daniel Chust Peters, De Geuzen, Angela Detanico & Rafael Lain, Paola Di Beloo, Peter Fend, Jochen Gerner, Luigi Ghirri, Marco Godinho, Anawana Halba, Hong Hao, Nina Katchadourian, Chris Kenny, John Klima, Joseph Kosuth, Guillermo Kuitca, Nelson Leirner, Cristina Lucas, Mateo Mate, Satomi Matoba, Paco Mesa & Lola Marazuela, Matt Mullican, Rivane Neuenschwander, Miguel Palma, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Kathy Prendergast, Qin Ga, David Renaud, Rosana Ricalde, Susan Stockwell, Jeanne Terwen-de-Loos, Caterina Vaneetvelde, Adriana Varejao, Jessica Vaturi, Robert Walden, Jeremy Wood. See the slides at Jeremy Wood’s GPS Drawing website (above). The museum’s website is here.

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Mapping, Carroll Square Gallery, Washington, DC, 2011. The show featured the work of Carol Barton, Dahlia Elsayed, Joyce Kozloff, Siobhan Rigg, Juan Tejedor, and Renee van der Stelt.

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Lauren Rosenthal, Hand-Cut Paper, The Monmouth Museum (NJ), 2011. Rosenthal uses maps – here hand-cut paper maps of rivers and river basins – to reorient people’s thinking about rivers and our interconnectedness. Rosenthal’s river blog is here.

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The Art of Mapping, TAG Fine Arts, London, 2011. The show “celebrates cartography’s potential as an art form, rather than a science,” and included the work of Neal Beggs, Claire Brewster, Christa Dichgans, Stanley Donwood, Peter Dykhuis, Dahlia Elsayed, Rob Good, Gonkar Gyatso, Emma Johnson, Jonathan Parsons, Simon Patterson, Nigel Peake, Grayson Perry, Rob Ryan, Paula Scher, Justine Smith, Susan Stockwell, Robert Walden, Stephen Walter, Heidi Whitman, Jeremy Wood, and Cai Yuan. A color catalogue accompanied the exhibition which can be downloaded here.

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Global Cities, Model Worlds, Pittsburgh Biennial, Pittsburgh, 2011. Co-organized by the Carnegie Museum of Art, Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts (PF/PCA), and The Andy Warhol Museum; and organized by Astria Suparak; the exhibition featured the work of Justseeds, Lize Mogel, Sarah Ross & Ryan Griffis, subRose, Temporary Services, and Transformazium.

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Mind the Map! Barents Spektakel, Kirkenes, Norway, 2011. “The Arctic map is changing – creating new stories, opportunities and challenges. The Arctic map is being redrawn today. Who controls the Arctic seabed? More and more stakeholders ‘update’ their claims for the Arctic pie.” Involving commissioned music, writers, and others, the Speektakel’s Pikene på Broen invited three artists to comment on these issues: Morten Traavik (Norway), Olga Kisseleva (Russia), and Stefano Cagol (Italy).

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Mapping the Surface, Central Booking, New York, 2011-2012. “Cartographers can tell us more than just the routes from one point to another, they can map terrains of landscape or psychological space, that amorphous state that adds up to a sense of a place beyond mere cataloging. They can also reduce all to the basic, the pure essence of line and plane. These artists in the next exhibition at CENTRAL BOOKING take us along such a road and beyond”: Doug Beube, Jeff Woodbury, Christina Mitrentse, Heidi Neilson, Robin Price, Cindy Kane, Dannielle Tegeder, Haptic Lab, Paula Scher, Alastair Noble Lilla LoCurto & Bill Outcault, Sabra Booth, Public Laboratory, Smudge Studio (Jamie Kruse and Elizabeth Ellsworth), Robbin Ami Silverberg, Barbara Siegel, and Elena Costelian. A catalog of Mapping the Surface is available as part of the November issue of CENTRAL BOOKING Magazine, at the URL above.

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From a slouching, unkempt, uncouth, shambling, horrid boy, he emerged into being a respectable, neat, tidy, order-loving, painstaking, and industrious young man.

– Miss Winthrop, 1888

I had an ugly, unruly boy in my room, and be gave me more trouble than all the rest of the class. When I inherited him I felt as if Nemesis had overtaken me, and just how to control him and secure any kind of work from him was a problem I long wrestled with.
For several weeks he was the terror of the room, and my reputation for good order and dignity was, I felt, fast disappearing. The boy would not obey unless he felt like it, and punishments had no effect on him. Every plan I evolved for the regeneration of the boy proved abortive. He wouldn’t reform. Finally, by accident, I stumbled on the cure.
I discovered that he was interested in his drawing, or rather was interested in sketching odd bits of scenery, or objects in the room, not even omitting his respected teacher, who was a typical schoolmarm and wore glasses. I resolved to make the most of this one talent – if talent it was – and so one day, when I was in my best and sweetest mood, I asked the terror if he would not draw a plan for some shelves I wanted put up in my closet. He assented, and the sketch was neatly and accurately made. There was a new look in his eyes and a new expression on his face when he gave me the paper on which his drawings were made.
Then I advanced slowly and cautiously. I needed some maps made, following a new invention of mine in cartography, and again I employed the terror, and again the result was encouraging. The maps were models of neatness and precision. I judiciously praised him, and exhibited the maps to the class.
We were studying the continent of Asia, and the terror never had his geography lesson learned; but when I suggested that if he were to keep up his reputation in drawing he must draw the details of the county he was sketching, geography became a new study to him, and he easily wade excellent progress in this branch.
The terror came out of his chrysalis state a new creature. His old ways were left, and he readily adopted the better method of doing and living. From a slouching, unkempt, uncouth, shambling, horrid boy, he emerged into being a respectable, neat, tidy, order-loving, painstaking, and industrious young man.
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Text:
  • Miss Winthrop, “A Crooked Stick Straightened,”  American Teacher, 1888 (reprinted in Scientific American, November 26, 1887, Vol. LVII., No. 22., pg. 346)
Illustrations:
  • Sighting Along the Ruler: The Youth’s Companion, August 8, 1918
  • Map of Two Brooks Farm: The Youth’s Companion, Aug 12, 1915
  • Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Asia: Lenore Congdon Schutze, Schutze’s Amusing Geography and System of Map Drawing (San Francisco, 1900)

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Pin maps have not much been much used in the past, chiefly because a map pin which would give satisfactory service has not been available for common use. Until recently the map markers obtainable have been little more than old-fashioned carpet tacks having chisel-shaped points which cut the surface of any map into which they were pushed. Tacks with rough steel shanks cannot be pushed far into a map if the tacks are to be pulled out again. Also, rough steel is likely to rust so as to cause the whole tack to deteriorate rapidly.

Thus begins a discourse on the map pin – and its brethren map beads, flags, and buttons – by Willard C. Brinton in his Graphic Methods for Presenting Facts (1919). In chapter 12 of that formidable volume, “Maps and Pins,” (2.5mb pdf) we are treated to 27 pages of considered commentary on the map pin: undoubtedly everything that could be said about map pins at the time. May I suggest cartopinography as the appropriate nomenclature for this deliciously narrow subset of the cartographic arts? Yes I may.

The shameful failings of mere tacks as map pins are amply demonstrated in the Brinton screed:

An alternative universe of map pins, beads, flags, and buttons are offered up, and, of course, delightfully illustrated: I repeat the opening image followed by an annotated list of map pin descriptors:

1. Long pin with small size glass head, available in many colors.
2. Long pin of brass wire for use with beads as shown in No.9.
3. Long pin with glass head used in conjunction with a piece of sheet celluloid cut into the shape of a flag.
4. A celluloid flag, with beads above the flag to represent quantity, or beads in different colors to denote various characteristics for the data portrayed. The grip of the sheet celluloid on the pin is sufficient to hold both the beads and the flag at the upper part of the pin.
5. Long pin with large size glass head, obtainable in different colors.
6. Pin like that shown in No.5 used with beads strung upon it.
7. A brass tack large enough to receive gummed labels which may be written upon with a pen.
8. Map pins having sharp points and small spherical glass heads in contact with the map. These pins are available in many different colors; the upper one in No. 8 is red and the lower one blue.
9. Beads in various colors of a size to correspond with the map pins in No. 8. Here the beads were red. White beads, used for every tenth position, show at a glance that there are 22 beads on the pin. Note that the color red photographs as black.
10. Map pins having sharp needle points and spherical glass heads in contact with the map. The pin is of the same general style as No. 8 but it has a head of larger diameter. This pin is obtainable in many colors.
11. Cloth-covered map tacks available in plain colors and in plaids.
12. Single bead used with an ordinary pin as a crude substitute for a regular map pin.
13. Beads in different colors corresponding in size with the map pin of No. 10.
14. Beads of two different sizes representing different things but at the same location.
15. Beads of two different sizes and three different colors. Since both sizes and colors may be varied, and almost any number of beads used on one pin, there are practically unlimited possibilities for the showing of complex data.
16. Beads on a pin which holds down on the map a sheet of colored celluloid cut to the exact shape of a small land area to which attention is directed.
17. A sheet-celluloid marker held by a map pin like that seen in No. 8.
18. Celluloid-covered tack, available in different colors.
19. Celluloid-covered tack with stripes of different colors.
20. Celluloid-covered tack with printed numbers from 1 to 99 inclusive.
21. Celluloid-covered tack having a rough surface so made that the surface may be written upon with pencil or pen, yet erased afterwards or rubbed off with a moist cloth. Lettering may be made permanent by means of a coat of varnish.
22. Large size celluloid-covered tack available in different colors.
23. Large size celluloid-covered tack with stripes of different colors.
24. Very large size celluloid-covered tack.

Included in the study are sundry illustrations of map pinnage at the zenith of development.

Below find a pin map showing the source of letters appealing for funds from Mary Harriman, the wife of railroad magnate E.H. Harriman. Mrs. Harriman’s fortune was somewhat reduced by the sheer number of map pins acquired for this exercise in cartopinography. Note the excessive pinning of New York City. So many pins are attempting to share the same geography that the map required an additional pin island (floating off the coast of New York city):

Harvard University, that hotbed of map pin innovation, confronted head-on the “too many pins in one place” problem that plagued the Harriman pin map. Why not, they suggested, create stacks of beads? Why not indeed!

The results, illustrated below, show the residence of 1907 Harvard graduates, six years after graduation. The map beads are stacked on a wire, every 10th bead is white. Why turn to a simple table when you could count beads on wires stuck in a map?

Further pin map considerations must be taken when attempting these protruding pin maps: such a bead map “should be mounted on several layers of corrugated straw-board to allow the long pins to sufficient depth in the mounting to hold fast.” One does not want teetering map pin beads!

The Harvard map sports six layers of straw-board, and a total thickness of 1 and 1/4 inches. Not only does such a sure base support the extensive beadage in the Boston area, but it is also “extremely light and very convenient to handle.”

Yes, I know what you are thinking: what kind of wire would one use for such a map? Would you believe piano wire? But some work is needed to transform piano wire into map bead wire. Brinton details the process: “The piano wire should be heated in a gas flame so as to remove some of the spring temper. After the wire has been heated it can be straightened and it will remain straight without continually springing back into coil form.” Once the heating and straightening has taken place, Brinton suggests a light coating of varnish to stabilize the wire used in longer columns, such as those for Boston and New York City on the map.

I suspect the Harvard map might suffer a bit of map bead flaccidity if hung upon a wall, given gravity and all. I also wonder about the hazards of such lengthy map beadings: a farsighted passer-by might, for example, receive a nasty map bead wire puncture-wound upon viewing the map too closely. No such injuries were reported in Brinton’s tome, however.

In our modern age of fancy maps-on-the-web the tangible map pin is certainly in decline. Yet a quick search leads to several suppliers of map pins, flags, and similar items, such as the Hudson Map company and The Map Shop.

Yet it is the ubiquitous Google Map that has saved the map pin from obscurity. Google’s default map pin marker can certainly be replaced by any kind of marker you want (see Custom Map Symbols in Google Maps) but who wants to futz around with that?

The Google Map map pin has taken its place as a literal pop-culture icon. Indeed, Google’s digital map pin has leaked back into earthly reality. Below find the work of map pin artist Adam Bartholl:

The map pin is dead! Long live the map pin!

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