Think about it, when was the last time you asked for directions? Or even used a paper map? Armed with smart phones and fancy GPS apps that map the route to your destination in milliseconds, asking a random person for directions is an increasingly rare occurrence. New York conceptual artist Nobutaka Aozaki is exploring the act of asking for directions in his ongoing art piece, Here to There, by gathering a collection of impromptu hand-drawn maps he obtains from complete strangers. Dressed as a tourist in a souvenir baseball cap and carrying a Century 21 shopping bag, the artist hits the streets around Manhattan and approaches random pedestrians to inquire about directions through the current part of the map he’s working on.
One of the most common scenarios when asking strangers for directions is their habit of pulling out a smart phone to start typing in an address, after which he insists on leaving with a drawn map on whatever written surface is available: torn sheets of notebook paper, napkins, or even paper plates. Aozaki tells Spoon & Tamago that his goal is not to make a complete map, but to instead document his daily routine and his myriad interactions with people, sort of like a mapped diary. (via Spoon & Tamago)
I’m really enjoying these abstract city maps by Jazzberry Blue (warning: audio). The cities you see above as well as Jerusalem and New Delhi are available as Giclée prints over on Etsy. (via unknown editors)
Here & There are a fascinating set of prints from London-based design firm BERG that depict speculative projections of Manhattan by completely removing the horizon and skewing the entire urban landscape upward. These particular views are of uptown from 3rd and 7th street, and downtown from 3rd and 35th street. Last year the prints found their way into MOMA’s permanent collection, and have just been reprinted using offset litho on 170 gsm paper from sustainable sources. Pick ‘em up now, shipping starts tomorrow.
Update: Because people are asking, these were designed a year or two before Inception. Just sayin’.
New work today from Ed Fairburn (previously) who draws ink and graphite portraits on vintage maps and now celestial star charts. A few of his works are now available as fine art prints over ar Not on the High Street.
Launched less than a month ago, Below the Boat makes gorgeous bathymetric charts (the underwater equivalent of a topographic map) using laser-cut layers of Baltic birch that are then carefully glued together to create what you see here. They have over two dozens charts currently available organized by East Coast, West Coast, and Interior Lakes. (via gessato)
Artist Ed Fairburn utilizes the chaotic patchwork of roads, trains, and rivers printed on maps as the framework for his large-scale portraits. Almost like a sculptor carving a subject from a block of stone, or a constellation highlighted in a clump of stars, Fairburn uses meticulous ink or pencil crosshatching to create portraits hidden amongst the topographical features. You can see much more of his work over on Facebook. (via artchipel)
BlinkingCity is a unique collaboration between Marcella Campa and Stefano Avesani. The duo created this colorful abstract collage using several maps from the rapidly transforming Hutong neighborhoods in Beijing. Here’s how they describe it:
Blinking City is a project investigating the inadequacy of traditional maps for city environments characterized by fast pace transformation and urban growth. As soon as the map is done, the city it describes has already gone. We transferred one of the Blinking City pattern, based on a collage of several Hutong neighbourhoods of Beijing, onto a wall of a dilapidated courtyard house in Xianyukou district, located in the core of the city.