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"map" Tag


Muddy Love


Monday, May 13, 2013

 

Map.

I cheated a bit last time by picking a book that was not part of the design section. It could be, because it dealt with cartography, but it’s maps were torn apart and put back together in different ways to form new landscapes; or used as starting points for spatial installations; or written, painted and drawn on; folded, pierced and even torched to make up new worlds.

Water.

A lot on architecture. I drift off and think of how much I would like to go for a swim now. To take a dive in the cold fresh water. A bit muddy probably. The kind of mud that slithers through the space between your toes when you stand on it, before it gives way a few inches under the pressure of your body.

Memory.

Mixing up these keywords doesn’t lead to anything.

Computerwise. Librarylike.

Hitting “memory” does provide for some compelling outcomes. Like “Bodies Voices Memories”, a book that looks at the remembering, speaking and sensing body. Specifically on instances where these abilities are disrupted or displaced by traumatic or physical causes. The book is bursting with text. But I like looking in it. The text has fascinating accompanying pictures and every new chapter title is printed on the folded corner of the previous page.

 

I end up with “It Crossed My Mind”, a catalogue on an exhibiton of Marijke van Warmerdam at the Kunsthalle Nurnberg in 2000.

Funnily enough it has an abundance of water in it. From showers to bathtubs and lakes. The pages are split in two. A text, sometimes in white or black, but mostly transparent and glossy, moves over the featured photo’s of film stills, installations and sculptures. An empty attic room. A man in folkore with his mouth wide open, a woman doing a headstand in a dress. A red wall.

-NO WONDER IT SOUNDS LIKE LOVING-

,

Not laughing.

Loving.

It’s in fact a map. Of her mind.

Rietveld Library cat.nr: -WA- 1

The Spatial Brain


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Entering my three tags in the search engine of the library didn’t lead to any results. At least, I hoped of course to find a book that was at the intersection of all three keywords leading to a publication that delt with designers of Asian witchcraft and mapping their whereabouts.

Fortunately I did find books with every specific tag; one on contemporary Asian architects; one on the map as art; and one on devils, demons, death and damnation. The latter of course sounded very inviting and it is indeed filled with the most fascinating gothic graphics of infernal punishment, public witch executions, demons riding to the Sabbath and Lucifer reigning over the souls of sinners.

On a lighter note, Asian architecture with the Zen-like attitude on dealing with space and the use of water -for tranquility and balance instead of drowning alleged witches- has a certain appeal as well.

But my eye can’t stop getting pulled to the last book of my pile, called “The Map As Art”. Cheating a little bit? Yes. This book is not from the Design department. But it sounds like it’s interestingly bordering on the edge of science, art and design. Cartography assembles scientific data in a technical way and models our reality as to effectively communicate spatial information. But then maps take on a life of their own. They may be worn out, damaged, have decades-old coffee or wine stains on them reminding of holidays or trips effectively pushed to the corners of the memory to make room for new ones. They may be folded so many times that crucial information is deleted, or have scribbles and writings on them that may be even more cryptic than the maps themselves can appear to be on first sight. These alterations seem to be lifted to a higher level in this book, making maps almost into fantastical designers of political landscapes, neighbourhoods and private spaces.

Rietveld Library cat.nr: 708.5 har 1

Book of Spells


Monday, April 22, 2013

The book I chose is of a faded sort of blue, and has the title “Bamboo” on its hardcover back. This back is graphically shaped as a piece of actual bamboo using shading and divisions. Like how you would see real-live bamboo in real-live nature.
The contrast with the blue, which of course in actuality it isn’t, drew my eyes to the book’s back I guess. Also probably since I was feeling very restless that specific afternoon and was more with my head in the sky than in the neatly organized library smelling of old paper and glue. On top of that it appeared old, and somewhat mysterious. And reminded me of when I was a kid and would always hope to find a forgotten book in the corner of the library that would have a map of a hidden treasure tucked away in it. I remember drawing those maps myself and hiding them in old books in my parents’ bookcase. Then I’d make myself forget, so I could stumble upon a forgotten map and could go on a treasure hunt. In my parents’ backgarden mostly. Or sometimes in the attic, where more secret passages could be created.

The typography of the letters “Bamboo” and in fact the word itself also reminded me of a book featured in a film I once watched when I was young. Probably around the same age as I was when trying to forget my hidden maps. It was about an apprentice-witch who lived in a big house in the English countryside and had to take in three children from London at the onset of WOII. The children found out about her secret practices and blackmailed her into giving them a magic gift. This gift was a traveling spell, to be used by turning a bewitched bed knob back on the bed in a specific way and speaking out loud the destination you would want it to take you. Eventually the witch and the kids used it to get to an island not to be found on any known maps; the isle of Naboombu. There, they would get the remaining words needed for the ultimate spell of the witch’s correspondent course in witchcraft, that of “Substitutiary Locomotion”.

Rietveld Library cat.nr: 772.5 aus 1


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