Intersection for the Arts

Funding Received: 2011
San Francisco, CA
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
October 31, 2011

Lots of people are talking about mapping these days. As things change around us, it makes sense to stop and think about where we are – what these places have been, what they are, and what they can be.

This Friday, October 21, we are launching a new project that starts with an exhibition in the space we share with our Partners The Hub Bay Area. The exhibition references the phrase "here be dragons" used in medieval times to denote unexplored territories, where mapmakers placed sea serpents and other mythological creatures in blank areas of maps.  Like cartographers centuries ago, the artists in this exhibition map the real and the imaginary, reinvigorating how we see the world around us as well as providing insight and access to places both unknown and unfamiliar.

The project is about mapping community – the many ways we can locate ourselves in place, unearth the complex layers of meaning, and find new connections in our streets. Eric Fischer, one of the artists we are working with, is passionate about maps.  He is a computer programmer, digital cartographer, and student of urbanism, who turns large sets of data into striking images.  He mines data found online to examine the information people anonymously leave in their wake on websites like Flickr, Cabspotting, NextBus, and Picasa in order to reveal the patterns of major cities, resulting in vivid maps that provide fresh ways to look at race, culture, economic trends, traffic, tourism, and crime.  Eric’s work is electric – illuminating the opportunities we have to and what systems we use to pass through our days.