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 16: ""Blue pottery vases and bowls for flowers are most attractive, and certain blue books...will repeat and emphasize color."

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.

Dispute Over a Very Italian Piglet

Amara Lakhous delivers a mystery novel with its finger on the hot-button issues of today's Europe.  Immigration and multicultural conflicts erupt in the Italian city of Turin, as journalist Enzo Laganà looks to restore peace to his native burg.

Papers in the Wind

In this insightful novel by Eduardo Sacheri, a young girl left destitute by the death of her soccer-playing father is uplifted by the bold schemes of her uncle, his pals, and one newbie player to the professional leagues.