Karen Margolis: Maps and Holes

Karen Margolis, Lake Champlain, 2010.
Karen Margolis, Lake Champlain, 2010.

Karen Margolis burns holes in old maps to make art:

Maps offer the implicit promise of direction. Symbolizing more than just destinations or the exterior world, and composed of vascular systems and arteries, maps act as proxies for our physical selves. They grow old, become obsolete and worthless. Working with outdated, worn out maps, I enhance their colors and trace over roadways to augment their intrinsic structure and utility. I then proceed to obliterate cities and other geographic data by burning holes into the maps with a soldering iron and excising discs from the maps. Producing dislocations, the holes subvert ability to communicate coherent information, but as maps are layered on top of each other, passages emerge into new territories and interrupted routes find new connections. Possibilities open up for new areas to be generated from what was lost. I reassemble amputated map discs into mandala inspired compositions.

[The Map as Art]

Author: Jonathan Crowe

Jonathan Crowe blogs about maps at The Map Room. His nonfiction has been published by AE, The New York Review of Science Fiction, the Ottawa Citizen and Tor.com. His sf fanzine, Ecdysis, was a two-time Aurora Award finalist.