Alternative Maps series:

Handheld Utopias, 2017

Handheld Utopias Globe, 2017
Handheld Utopias Globe, 2017
Handheld Utopias Globe, 2017
Handheld Utopias Projection, 2017
Handheld Utopias Projection, 2017
Handheld Utopias Projection, 2017

Handheld Utopias, 2017

28" x 28" 

Cyanotypes, cast plaster

 

For centuries, globes have signified power, education, and scientific inquiry, but are often out-of-date just after they are produced. "Handheld Utopias" explores the globe as an ephemeral printed object and a device for presenting (and distorting) spatial and political relationships. It features a borderless map comprised of designs, patterns, and architecture from the banknotes of 195 countries, rendered as a three-dimensional cyanotype blueprint with traditional globe-building techniques and specialized software. 

In cartography, a projection is a rendering of three-dimensional space to two dimensions. From medieval shipping maps to Google Earth images, efforts to convey geographic relationships have been embedded with the privilege and perspectives of the map-maker, from relative scales of countries to international borders. The Handheld Utopias projections feature cyanotype blueprints that are distorted in such a way to conform to the spherical surface of a globe, and offer a fractured presentation of oceans and continents in a form we do not typically view as a flat map.

© Susanna Crum, 2008-2020