Mapping (I)

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creative perspectivesFor most of this year, I have been playing with map-making.

Some of my maps combine time and space: the last day of the trip to NYC, my trip from Tokyo to Pittsburgh to Paris and back. Some show the tasks I've laid before me. Others lay out the sounds of the space I'm in. I even mapped a really bad sunburn I got over the summer.

For a while I didn't think of these drawings as maps. They were just things I was thinking about and putting onto paper. But in August I picked up Katharine Harmon's You Are Here: Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination and realised that I had been drawing maps for months. The book is filled with clever, intricate, weird, and classic maps that make me feel connected to a long history of map-making.

Now I make a point to draw maps of whatever takes my fancy. Just like I was doing before, only now they have a label.

If you have a gap in your Christmas list, I can recommend You Are Here as an interesting filler that will give you many hours or enjoyable reading and study.

3 Comments

Harmon's book is terrific. I picked up a copy at St. Mark's Books in the East Village in NYC earlier in the year. That book ought to come with a blank piece of paper and a self-addressed stamped envelope so that you can draw the map of how it got to you and send it back to the author for the next edition. I'd like to see all those pathways layered on top of each other.

like thats my name

Ha! That's exactly where I got my copy, too.

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  • Kristen: Ha! That's exactly where I got my copy, too. read more
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  • jh: Harmon's book is terrific. I picked up a copy at read more

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