“You Are Here” is a show at the John B Aird public gallery created around the theme of exploring our individual approaches to navigating urban space and emotional experiences.
This show intersected nicely with one piece from a series I am creating — the piece shown above, titled “Takonto Imagined Post-Anthropocene.”
To create the piece above, I deconstructed and reconstructed a city guide map. I was thinking about the ways in which Toronto has changed and the ways in which it will change in the future as a result of climate change, political changes, and social changes. I know that Toronto will not float away as an island, but that was the metaphor that consistently came to mind as I explored what to do with this map.
This map also contains a cartouche, which is the name for the label that appears in the top right corner. Map cartouches typically show symbols of the place in the map, as well as mythical associations for that place. So appropriately, this cartouche has the CN Tower, a streetcar, the iconic city hall silhouette, and the city’s flower, a columbine. Will these symbols survive the current changes, or will they be markers of what we had and lost?
The name, Tkaronto, is the original indigenous peoples’ name for this place.
I love printed maps and everything about them, and they have provided the foundational materials for a series I am working on called The Cartography of Late Capitalism.