Monday, March 15, 2010

In researching cartography for my color talk, another assignment for Elements of Visual Thinking, I've become interested in isometric perspective and the interaction between detail and scale. Road map cartography most commonly combines the classic "bird's-eye view" with an isometric perspective in which distance is not calculated into showing perspective scaling.

So, a land mass that is roughly the same size as another but is farther away from a single view point would be represented to scale, with no warping of perspective. A landscape is flattened not by one bird's eye view but rather by infinite pairs of eyes to create the whole of a map representing a section of the Earth. But the whole of this representation is modified by a change in scale and thus detail. Going beyond road maps, which more manageably section our world, different world map projections demonstrate these different modifications of scale and detail which reasonably attempt to make tangible enormous distance, mass, and variation in surface area, which are not necessarily distortions if a globe is accepted as equally (mis)representing the Earth.

Mercator Projection

Sinusoidal Projection

There is compromise in these modifications of scale and detail through perspective. It is necessary and unavoidable: a map of scale 1:1 couldn't be held and a map of precise and meticulous detail couldn't be read. Compromise between two participating components, the real-ity of the physical and immense and the real-ity of the physical and holdable, that accommodate each other-- com-, com-, com- of WITH, TOGETHER, MUTUAL. You are Well -Com(e) (t)Here. Not equal of sameness and static energy but equality of two different reals that enable each other to be seen and understood. They are not at all independent, and no more solely dependent, but interdependent.

With the first two pieces of this blog, I feel I was attempting to address these two different reals with bridges as seen in the motif of cotton thread. I was aware of these different reals, but frustrated with the fact of their different-ness. To be transparent, I began writing about maps in an exercise to remain objective about a topic that is emotionally charged to me, rather than deliberately seeking a solution/relationship to my first two pieces. However, I feel I discovered a logical and symbiotic relationship in this topic that makes me more equipped in terms of my frustration with the intangibility of distance. There is less loneliness/isolation and more discovery in choosing to bind relations between different worlds to become interdependent, rather than being stuck on their separateness and dwell on their isolation as I think I had been.

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