Artists Refs.

Trying something new – I’m putting my artist refs in here – I tend to digitally edit the pics anyhow, and this will probably make retrieval easier. These are from;

The Map as Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography ~ Katharine Harmon (Author)
Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; 26,5 cm x 23,5 cm edition (September 23, 2009)
ISBN-13: 978-1568987620

Leila Daw

Lake trail (top L) Jetty (top R)

Highway Topography (bottom L) Lycian City (bottom R)

The compass roses in these paintings are left intentionally blank, not just for aesthetic purposes, but to remind the viewer that maps are always subjective representations of the world. Daw asks “How can we know where we are in the world when what we’re looking for determines what we see?”

I am fascinated by one particular contextual element, which is the compass roses, Until the invention (of the function of) magnetic compasses Most maps in the European world were based on the presupposition that the top of the map (the modern day north of the compass rose) was in fact oriented to the East – the direction that the sun (and of course stars) rose in. In Northern china most maps were oriented south – the direction that summer came from – south being warm, vibrant, and life giving (red) – as opposed to north which was considered to be cold, sterile and life taking (white) – these beliefs are still codified to this day in the practice of Feng Shui.

I spent a while earlier this year trying to work out how to situate a map that I was constructing, and as a response to this I came up with the idea of ‘psychologic north’ being an orientation that is arbitrary and varies from person to person – the view down a valley, the lie of the land, the direction that a loved one lives in – surely these are just as valid to a person who lives on the ground and only navigates by foot as an invisible force that pulls a magnet.

Yumi Janairo Roth

I’m intrigued by the fact that the artist asks people to mark her body with these maps the territory is placed onto her – but she then removes or displaces (by means of a camera) it, archives it, reproduces from that archive and then uses it to ask people to help her to place her body within the map – it’s an interesting re/de territorialisation of both the body and the archive – a bodily detournement after a fashion.


Site 22: Mao Zedong Temple

Site 18: Hongyuan Grasslands

In 2002, participants in the ‘Long March Project’ began a “Walking Visual Display” along the route of China’s historic, six-thousand-mile Long March (1934-36). As the team undertook the arduous journey, Beijing-based artist Qin kept in close contact with them and tracked the groups route with needle and ink, on a tattooed map on his back. Three years later, Qin continued the trek where the original marchers had left off. He was accompanied by three cameramen Who recorded their movements over unremittingly demanding terrain-from snow-covered Himalayan peaks to swampy grasslands-and a tattoo artist, who continually updated the groups progress on Qin’s back. The tattooed map is the physical embodiment of this personal journey, and the individual and collective experiences of thousands who previously endured the march or died in the process. In cartography, extreme human hardship can be reduced to a simple line. Qin’s map is more complicated; it was laboriously and painfully made, and challenges any reductive legacy of the original Long, March.

I like this use of the artists body as a canvas for the transcription of a journey into a map, given that his body has been to these places which are “reduced to a simple line” gives that supposedly simple line a far greater degree of semiotic complexity than a mere line on paper would. The map, in this case, has made the journey, rather than just describing it.

Mariele Neudecker

The Air We Breathe is invisible, 1992-96
Photo album, glue, carved map of the English Channel and glass 4.75 x1 4 x 16.5 in.

I like this work, the idea of mapping that which is invisible, or ineffable appeals to me – it’s also a nice use of materials.