Visual Editions push the boundaries of traditional cartography by asking artists and writers to design their ideal form of the medium.
The trail of information that each of leaves behind in the modern age is truly astounding, but imagine if there was a way to capture some of it and weave it into a cohesive story, all displayed on a map. That’s exactly what Anna Gerber and Britt Iversen, co-founders of Visual Editions, have tried to do with their latest book called “Where You Are.” The book has no pages or chapters, instead it’s filled with artwork and essays that tell the story of artists, writers and thinkers in map form.
Gerber and Iversen asked 16 different writers: “What is your personal idea of a map?” They got 16 different responses and eventually, a book that is meant to be opened, spread out on a table and delved into like you would an atlas before a road trip. Each contributor approached the question differently with a highly-personal touch, but the end product turned out to be a cohesive set of maps, stories and artwork that thoughtfully contemplates what it means to document our lives. Gerber comments
Our relationships to maps are changing so quickly; we’re not thinking about maps as crumpled old pieces of paper that tell you how to get from one place to another anymore.
Some of the maps within the book include Swings of Harlem from Valeria Luiselli, which looks at the playgrounds she and her daughter frequent in the area, as well as Geoff Dyer’s map of Cheltenham, filled memories of his first love, first job, first kiss and first death. While the book shows what is truly possible within an industry as “outdated” as physical publishing, it is also available as a website where each of the contributions are laid out in an interactive feature made by The Workers.
Images: Visual Editions