Artist Jennifer Maravillas created a non-digital map of Brooklyn that uses trash from each block to illuminate the borough’s culture and diversity.
Artist Jennifer Maravillas is fascinated with cartography. She has painted maps of London, San Francisco and Manhattan. Now Maravillas is working on a map of Brooklyn, but instead of using traditional material, she is compiling it entirely out trash found throughout the borough.
The projected, 71 Square Miles, is so-called because that is the size of Brooklyn. To curate her map, Maravillas is walking the entire 71 square mile area, block by block, scouring for pieces of paper , to add to her 10 foot by 10 foot outline. While lottery tickets and phone cards are some of the most common trash found, Maravillas likes to find pieces that reveal a story about the block. She tells Atlantic Cities:
I love handwritten notes, kids’ drawings, things like that. I’ve found a few love letters that are really sweet. That’s a little sad at the same time.
Maravillas has been working on her map since February 2012, when she was splitting her time between San Francisco and Brooklyn. It began as a way for her to get out, see the borough and gain a better understanding of it. She now lives there full-time and hopes to complete her map by 2014. Her cartography of Brooklyn allows any viewer to get a sense of the different neighborhoods of the place. She says:
Brooklyn is a really interesting place from a global perspective because of the diversity here. The map is serving as a tool for people to see the borough. Connecting people – that’s the idea of a map.
Watch Maravillas collect the ephemera that makes up 71 Square Miles in a video by Animal New York: