What are the potentials for this view of cartography?
Maps are visual representations that are closely related to space. The map has developed its own language, which is useful for artists to explore in their works that use maps. The view that cartography as arts has artistic potentials. With the development of cartography, the map language provides artists with ready metaphors. It is not necessary for artists to obey the reality in the world like geographers. This allows lots of flexibility while they are still many cartography concepts and imagery to utilize. Artists could make the maps of memories, mental states and futuristic visions. Cartography, as a familiar object, could enhance the interaction between viewers and the artists. Similarly, artists are able to create their own maps, which reflects personal experience rather than collective truth.
How is it useful as an artistic metaphor?
As stated above, maps can provide people with ready metaphors because cartography has developed for many years and has its own language, such as boundary, territory and space. The cartography provides artists with metaphors like seeking location and experiencing dislocation, bringing order to chaos, exploring ratios of scale and charting new terrains. Physical space is not required. We only need these metaphors to map or project our ideas with a map view.
What do such metaphors afford us? (In other words, what do we get from them? What do they allow us to do?)
Essentially maps are the visual representation of space together with other target information presented with the space. Maps can be viewed as the background of political boundary and projection. We can use the metaphors described above to display the related themes. These metaphors allow artists to shift the political and aesthetic winds, respond to social and economic globalization and find orientation inside the cultural volatility. Beyond that, we may also make use of new technology such as google map, photography or other digital techniques to gain new ideas or illustrate the old idea in new methods such as map animation.
How are space (physical and metaphorical), identity, and politics represented in the examples?
Use several illustrations in Conflict and Sorrow as examples here. For the Axis of Evil, the geographical map of the earth in dark (perhaps from google earth) is showed where the four axis of evil cities are portrayed on a red line. We are able to read the political information directly from the map. For the Greener sides of the line, a green ribbon was put the political boundary of Israel and Western Bank. The ribbon is a realization of the virtual boundary and real life images are taken beside the boundary to show the life there. Both actual physical views and the metaphorical boundary that exists in our mind are presented. In the same time, we shall see the politics here. The life across the boundary are not so different. The boundary is more like a metaphorical thing with out the green ribbon as the realization. For the Memorial Lightscapes, the artist portrayed the “lost” place which does not exist currently due to tragic events. It is created based on memory, both individual and collective. The location is sought in the work. But it is a medium rather than a theme. What we want to show is the identity of these lost people and the memory about them.