Cartography of Late Capitalism

The finished pieces invite the viewer to enjoy the visual language, as well as investigate the urgent questions of our time raised by the map as metaphor.

I love maps and enjoy the stories they tell of people, activities, history and wayfinding. Maps reflect the cartographer’s curation decisions, including some things and omitting others. There are limits to this curation – in an age of misinformation, a map must still connect with facts.

Our old maps are not working well for us right now. The pieces do not all fit, and the right pathway is not clear. There seem to be many dead ends and gaps, perhaps because we have not designed, discovered, or invented those parts yet. Gaps may also represent losses that we cannot recover, losses we will mourn.

My working process is to take a single map or book of maps (such as a hiking guide or a city guide) deconstruct it, and reassemble the pieces. The reconstructed map must have some inner logic and visual coherence. Some pre-existing visual elements are emphasized, others obscured.

The cartouche designed for “Tkaronto Imagined Post-Anthropocene” honors the mapmakers convention of including iconic symbols of the place, even if they may no longer exist. This element was created from drawings, then scanned to become a digital image, then converted to a transfer, then enhanced with acrylic paint.

These works are all on wood panels (oak or ash fine plywood) mounted on cradles.

“Tkaronto Imagined Post-Anthropocene” was selected for the “You Are Here” Show at the John B Aird public gallery from March 5 to April 3, 2020. #youarehere