Mapping It Out: An Alternative Atlas of Contemporary Cartographies

Mapping It Out: An Alternative Atlas of Contemporary Cartographies

Over 130 of the world’s most creative minds make sense of our exterior and interior worlds through intriguing and imaginative maps of their own devising.

Imaginative, visionary and richly absorbing, this book will appeal to anyone interested in how we visualize our worlds, physical or abstract, real or imagined.

Whether they chart a newly discovered land or lay out a complicated process, maps serve to improve our understanding of what surrounds us. They make the complex simple, and reveal the complexity behind the apparently straightforward.

Original and thought-provoking, Mapping It Out invites leading lights from a host of fields to create a personal map of their own, in whatever form and showing whatever terrain they choose, whether real-world or imaginary.

Some contributors have translated scientific data into simplified visual language, while others have condensed vast social, political or natural forms into concise diagrams. Many have reworked existing maps to subvert their original purpose or to present an alternative view of reality. Others play with the map’s commitment to truth by plotting invented worlds and charting imaginative flights of fancy. Going further, some offer entirely new kinds of map – or even reject the map’s claim to bear facts altogether.

In his Introduction, acclaimed novelist Tom McCarthy reflects on the relationship between maps, literature and knowledge, while Serpentine Galleries’ Co-Director Hans Ulrich Obrist considers the influence of maps on artistic creativity.

With contributions from David Adjaye, Tim Berners-Lee, Olafur Eliasson, Mona Hatoum, Susan Hiller, Damien Hirst, Anish Kapoor, John Maeda, Annette Messager, Yoko Ono, Ed Ruscha, Bruce Sterling, Christopher Stringer, J. Craig Venter and many others… 

Several maps from this publication were presented at the Serpentine's Map Marathon, 16-17 October 2010