Personal Geographies


Map as Art detail


Katharine Harmon's  You Are Here, an ingenious exploration of the border-bending speculative capabilities of mapmaking, was published six years ago, and remains a book I love losing myself in from time to time. Gathering a few score exhibits -- an estate outlined from a dog's perspective, a map of success, and assorted "personal geographies" -- created by artists and cartographers, it is nourishing food for one's imagination.


Harmon's new book, The Map as Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography, extends the boundaries of her celebration of mapmaking. [Click the image above for a larger view of the cover piece, by Jules de Balincourt.]   Employing a range of media and states of mind that range from the playful to the political, the artists represented between the book's covers-including Ed Ruscha, Julian Schnabel, Olafor Eliasson, and many others -- map landscapes familiar, unknown, invented. The result is a beautiful, captivating volume.


Pictured here are details from João Machado's Swimming  and Peter Dykhuis's You Are Here, a map of Halifax Harbor (click on the images to see book spreads).




Halifax Harbor



-James Mustich

April 23: " 'A job,' the woman repeated again, smiling, as if I hadn't heard her. 'Would you like one?' "

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.