Unconscionable Maps of Nowhere

Installation view of Unconscionable Maps of Nowhere 2012
laser prints on bond paper
43” x 63” each

Produced with the use of a digital scanner pressed against various terrains, each one is a sequence of photographic scans pieced together into a single image.

As life size representations of the land they depict, these works render themselves useless as tools of practical navigation, but instead become models for precise landscapes unknown.

“What a useful thing a pocket-map is!” I remarked.

“That’s another thing we’ve learned from your Nation,” said Mein Herr, “map-making. But we’ve carried it much further than you. What do you consider the largest map that would be really useful?”

“About six inches to the mile.”

“Only six inches!” exclaimed Mein Herr. “We very soon got to six yards to the mile. Then we tried a hundred yards to the mile. And then came the grandest idea of all ! We actually made a map of the country, on the scale of a mile to the mile!”

“Have you used it much?” I enquired.

“It has never been spread out, yet,” said Mein Herr: “the farmers objected: they said it would cover the whole country, and shut out the sunlight ! So we now use the country itself, as its own map, and I assure you it does nearly as well.”

From Lewis Carroll, Sylvie and Bruno Concluded, Chapter XI, London, 1895

Installation view