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Beyond the Landscape

Vernissage: 26.06.

26.06. - 14.09.2012

Opening: Tuesday, 26.06., 7:30 p.m.

Exhibition by Maxwell Roberts and Alexander Wolff

for Dagstuhl-Seminars 12261 "Putting Data on the Map"

Maps originate from the need to communicate topography: they inform about rights of way, ownership, borders, and warn about dangers such as rocks and sandbanks—all driving the precision of surveying and cartography. However, as the need to display complex information developed, so the original aims and objectives in creating a map were modified. Sometimes the landscape can get in the way, and so alternative cartographies evolved, in which features were distorted or removed altogether in order to emphasise the required message.

Alternatively, the spatial metaphor proved too useful to restrict to reality, and so new landscapes were invented to show information never imagined by pioneer cartographers. With the development of mass marketing, the map became the message itself, with no need only to convey information other than to be recognisable in its own right, and taken to the final extreme, maps contains no message, and little useful information, their only purpose is to delight and be decorative.

This exhibition charts the ways in which maps have departed from the requirement to show the world with precision and fidelity, and explores the strange new landscapes that have been created.