You may not have noticed, but we are in the middle of a map-making epidemic. It began in the early ‘90s when artists started using maps to talk about identity and race. But instead of drying up, as most trends do, this one’s actually picked up speed. Now, it seems, artists everywhere are painting maps, slicing up maps or feeding raw data into computers to produce winking, blinking maps of everything from trans-national travel patterns to such seemingly mundane activities as the movement of books in and out of libraries. Several days ago I saw a collection of laminated maps conjoined by zippers, which I thought was pretty funny until I realized that under this scheme, anyplace on Earth could be seamlessly grafted onto any other place, like pieces of a modular toy.
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