Artists’ Maps

Maps are powerful. They can orient us on unfamiliar streets or help us find our way through unmarked territory. In their essence, maps distill an incredible amount of information into a compact, readable, digestible abstraction — a tool for navigating and understanding what’s around us.

This exhibit expands upon the traditional idea of mapping, featuring works by artists at Mason and artists in the Mason Libraries collection. Each of these artists has embraced the map as a dynamic and versatile tool for investigating histories, bodies, geographies, and more. By recording landmarks, making careful observations, and charting terrain of all sorts physical and intangible, each artist’s map reveals a surprising story.

Come to the exhibit and see works by:

Carmon Colangelo
Floating Lab Collective
Melissa Hill
Jacob Lahah
Sarah McDermott
Lise Melhorn-Boe
Cathryn Miller
Sharon A. Sharp

Check out our list of books related to this exhibition. You can find these books on the shelf in the gallery.

Artist’s Maps will be up through February 6th, 2015.


Curious about the exhibit announcement above? See which which art object each square is referring to. Scroll through to see additional images and information.


Artists’ Maps Exhibit Video

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Artists’ Maps

The World According to the Newest and Most Exact Observations 
by Ian Berry (Editor); Susan Bender (Contribution by); Bernard Possidente (Contribution by); Richard Wilkinson (Contribution by); Charles Stainback (Afterword by)
Call Number: N8222.M375 B46 2001
ISBN: 0970879016
Publication Date: 2001-01-01


Mapping the Empty 
by William L. Fox
Call Number: N8214.5.U6 F69 1999
ISBN: 0874173140
Publication Date: 1999-03-01
In this volume, the author considers how eight of Nevada’s most distinguished and innovative contemporary artists have responded to the harsh, enigmatic landscapes of the Great Basin and how, through their work, they have expressed and helped to define the West.


Digital Art and Meaning
by Roberto Simanowski
Call Number: N7433.8 .S56 2011
ISBN: 9780816667376
Publication Date: 2011-05-20
In a world increasingly dominated by the digital, the critical response to digital art generally ranges from hype to counterhype. Popular writing about specific artworks seldom goes beyond promoting a given piece and explaining how it operates, while scholars and critics remain unsure about how to interpret and evaluate them. This is where Roberto Simanowski intervenes, demonstrating how such critical work can be done.


Creative Collectives 
by Maria Ochoa
Call Number: N6538.M4 O34 2003
ISBN: 0826321100
Publication Date: 2003-12-30
A compelling blend of art history, social analysis, and personal testimony, Creative Collectives presents a new paradigm for understanding Chicana/o studies. By following the artistic and ideological journeys of two groups of northern California Chicana artists, María Ochoa argues that the women involved in these collectives created complex images whose powerful visual social commentary sprang from the daily experiences of their lives.


Hamish Fulton 
by Bill McKibben; Ben Tufnell; Andrew Wilson; Doug Scott
Call Number: N6537.F85 A4 2002
ISBN: 0810962578
Publication Date: 2002-09-04
Known as a sculptor, photographer, conceptual artist, and land artist, Hamish Fulton prefers to characterize himself as a walking artist. His walks have taken him to locations as varied as Japan, the Himalayas, Italy, India, Iceland, and the deserts of Montana, as well as throughout England.


The Uncarved Block 
by Hamish Fulton (Photographer)
Call Number: N6537.F85 A4 2010
ISBN: 9783037782279
Publication Date: 2010-07-01
In 2009, Hamish Fulton and an expedition team climbed Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world. This publication presents this artist treatment of the ascent to the summit for the first time in a compendious pictorial volume in the form of collages of photographs and text, sculptures and works on paper.


4 artists and the map: image/process/data/place 
by Roberta Smith
Call Number: N6512 .S583
Publication Date: 1981


A Touch of Code 
by R. Klanten (Editor); S. Ehmann (Editor); L. Feireiss (Editor)
Call Number: N6498.I56 T68 2011
ISBN: 9783899553314
Publication Date: 2011-04-01
Today’s designers are creating compelling atmospheres and interactive experiences by merging hardware and software with architecture and design. This book is a collection of this innovative work produced where virtual realms meet the real world and where data flow confronts the human senses.


Land Art 
by Michael Lailach
Call Number: N6494.E27 L38 2007
ISBN: 9783822856130
Publication Date: 2007-08-01
In the mid-60s, artists in the USA and Europe began planning works for sites outside the narrow boundaries of galleries and museums. It began with ephemeral enhancements or traces left in deserted landscapes, in the deserts of America, or in the moors of Scotland. Following this were spectacular earthen sculptures of gigantic proportions, some of which are still in the process of completion today.


Nobody’s Property 
by Kelly Baum; Christopher J. Reitz (Contribution by); Yates McKee (Contribution by); Uriel Abulof (Contribution by); Alexander J. Bacon (Contribution by); Rachael Z. DeLue (Contribution by); Margo Handwerker (Contribution by); Jonathan I. Levy (Contribution by); Michelle Y. Lim (Contribution by); Kurt Mueller (Contribution by)
Call Number: N6494.E6 B38 2010
ISBN: 9780300149289
Publication Date: 2010-11-16
This generously illustrated volume surveys a new chapter in the history of environmental art, one in which space, geopolitics, human relations, urbanism, and utopian dreamwork play as important a role as, if not more than, raw earth.


Envisioning Information 
by Edward R. Tufte
Call Number: P93.5 .T84 1990
ISBN: 9780961392116
Publication Date: 1990-05-01


Visual Explanations 
by Edward R. Tufte; Bonnie Scranton (Illustrator); Dmitry Krasny (Illustrator); Weilin Wu (Illustrator)
Call Number: P93.5 .T846 1997
ISBN: 9780961392123
Publication Date: 1997-01-01


Julie Mehretu 
by Siemon Allen; Julie Mehretu; Rebecca R. Hart; Kinsey Katchka; Detroit Institute of Arts Staff (Contribution by)
Call Number: ND237.M4165 A4 2007
ISBN: 0895581612
Publication Date: 2009-02-01
In her celebrated large-scale paintings, which are built up with layers of acrylic paint on canvas and overlaid with gestural pen and ink marks, Ethiopian-born, New York-based artist Julie Mehretu explores issues of mobility, social organization, political entanglement and global competition. Featured in this crisply designed volume are five new works from her city-specific series City Sitings, Detroit-related and all created for her exhibition at that city’s Institute of Arts.


Julie Mehretu 
by Julie Mehretu; Brian Dillon; Joan Young
Call Number: ND237.M4165 A4 2009
ISBN: 9780892073962
Publication Date: 2010-02-28
American artist Julie Mehretu is celebrated for her large-scale paintings and darwings that layer abstract forms with familiar architectural imagery. Inspired by a multitude of sources, including historical photographs, urban-planning grids, modernist structures and graffiti, these semi-abstract works explore the intersections of power, history, dystopia and the built environment and their impact on the formation of personal and transcommunal identities.


The Visual Display of Quantitative Information
by Edward R. Tufte
Call Number: QA276.3 .T83 2001
ISBN: 9780961392147
Publication Date: 2001-07-09


The Making of PAPA 
by Lino Hellings
Call Number: TR820.5 .H45 2012
ISBN: 9460830668
Publication Date: 2012
PAPA – Participating Artists Press Agency – is an international, curated network of artist-correspondents, initiated and led by Lino Hellings. PAPA is nomadic, it doesn’t have a fixed office but works from temporary offices in cities all over the world. Projects can be self-initiated or commissioned by third parties. PAPA is an instrument for world mapping, gently fixing even the most stubborn pieces into meaningful patterns.


London Underground Maps 
by Claire Dobbin
Call Number: TF847.L66 D63 2012
ISBN: 9781848221048
Publication Date: 2012-04-24
By documenting and guiding us on the journeys we make every day, maps influence the way we navigate and identify with our surroundings. The Underground, London Transport, and its successor Transport for London, have produced and inspired maps which are navigational, decorative forms of publicity and works of art.


Creative Code 
by John Maeda
Call Number: N6537.M3364 A4 2004
ISBN: 0500285179
Publication Date: 2004-10-30
Maeda’s work as an educator and director of the Aesthetics + Computation Group (ACG) at the MIT Media Lab has largely remained behind the scenes. For seven years, Maeda and his students-several of whom are already internationally celebrated-have created some of the most digitally sophisticated and exciting pieces of design to emerge anywhere. Little of this research has been seen outside the laboratory.


by Maya Lin
Call Number: N6537.L54 A2 2000
ISBN: 9780684834177
Publication Date: 2000-10-05


Joyce Kozloff: Targets 
by Eleanor Heartney
Call Number: N6537.K67 A4 2001
Publication Date: 2001
Catalog of an exhibition held at DC Moore Gallery, Jan. 9-Feb. 3, 2001.
The text “Maps as metaphors: recent works by Joyce Kozloff” by Eleanor Heartney


Guillermo Kuitca Everything 
by Douglas Dreishpoon; Terence Riley; Andreas Huyssen; Guillermo Kuitca 
Call Number: N6639.K85 A4 2009
ISBN: 9781857595963
Publication Date: 2009-11-30
Argentinean artist Guillermo Kuitca was born in Buenos Aires in 1961 and continues to live and work



Mapping Manifest Destiny 
by Michael P. Conzen (Editor); Diane Dillon (Editor)
Call Number: GA408.5.W47 C66 2007
ISBN: 0911028811
Publication Date: 2008-06-15
Published to coincide with an exhibition at Chicago’s Newberry Library, Mapping Manifest Destiny: Chicago and the American West charts the historic role maps have played in imagining, understanding, promoting, and exploiting the Western frontier of North America.


Cartographic Traditions in East Asian Maps 
by Richard A. Pegg
Call Number: GA1081 .P44 2014
ISBN: 9780824847654
Publication Date: 2014-08-01
Given their subjective nature, maps reproduce the views or perspectives of their makers. Cartographic Traditions in East Asian Maps is focused on a group of maps from the MacLean Collection, one of the world’s largest private collections of maps.


Figures, infrastructures : an atlas of roads and railways 
by Bieke Cattoor, Bruno De Meulder
Call Number: GA915 .C38 2011
ISBN: 9461051182
Publication Date: 2011


Antique Maps of the Nineteenth Century World 
by Robert M. Martin
Call Number: G1021 .T235 1989
ISBN: 9780517678817
Publication Date: 1989-08-02


The Marvel of Maps 
by Francesca Fiorani
Call Number: DG445 .F56 2005
ISBN: 0300107277
Publication Date: 2005-06-11
Among the most beautiful and compelling works of Renaissance art, painted maps adorned the halls and galleries of princely palaces. This book is the first to discuss in detail the three-dimensional display of these painted map cycles and their full meaning in Renaissance culture.


Geographies of Rhythm 
by Tim Edensor (Editor)
Call Number: BH301.R5 G46 2010
ISBN: 9780754676621
Publication Date: 2010-03-28
In Rhythmanalysis, Henri Lefebvre put forward his ideas on the relationship between time and space, particularly how rhythms characterize space. Here, leading geographers are brought together to expand and advance on Lefebvre’s theories, and to explore how they intersect with current theoretical and political concerns within the social sciences.


Mapping Benjamin 
by Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht (Editor); Michael Marrinan (Editor)
Call Number: BH201 .M32 2003
ISBN: 0804744351
Publication Date: 2003-07-28
Since its publication in 1936, Walter Benjamin’s “Artwork” essay has become a canonical text about the status and place of the fine arts in modern mass culture. Benjamin was especially concerned with the ability of new technologies—notably film, sound recording, and photography—to reproduce works of art in great number. Benjamin could not have foreseen the explosion of imagery and media that has occurred during the past fifty years. Does Benjamin’s famous essay still speak to this new situation? That is the question posed by the editors of this book to a wide range of leading scholars and thinkers across a spectrum of disciplines in the humanities. The essays gathered here do not hazard a univocal reply to that question; rather they offer a rich, wide-ranging critique of Benjamin’s position that refracts and reflects contemporary thinking about the ethical, political, and aesthetic implications of life in the digital age.


Maps and Meaning 
by Julie Nichols
Call Number: GA102.3 .N53 2014
ISBN: 9781936320653
Publication Date: 2014-01-15
In today’s practices of urban design, the map acts as a documentary and design tool as well as a legal document. Its usefulness hinges on its perceived truthfulness and objectivity in the representation of reality. Yet this has not always and everywhere been the case.


Map Projection 
by Plaison (Editor)
Call Number: GA110 .P425 1990
ISBN: 084936888X
Publication Date: 1990-03-28
This text develops the plotting equations for the major map projections.


Flattening the Earth 
by John P. Snyder
Call Number: GA110 .S576 1993
ISBN: 0226767469
Publication Date: 1993-10-01
As long as there have been maps, cartographers have grappled with the impossibility of portraying the earth in two dimensions. To solve this problem mapmakers have created hundreds of map projections, mathematical methods for drawing the round earth on a flat surface. Yet of the hundreds of existing projections, and the infinite number that are theoretically possible, none is perfectly accurate.


by James R. Akerman (Editor); Robert W. Karrow (Editor); John McCarter (Foreword by)
Call Number: GA108 .M34 2007
ISBN: 9780226010755
Publication Date: 2007-11-15
Maps are universal forms of communication, easily understood and appreciated regardless of culture or language. This truly magisterial book introduces readers to the widest range of maps ever considered in one volume: maps from different time periods and a variety of cultures; maps made for divergent purposes and depicting a range of environments; and maps that embody the famous, the important, the beautiful, the groundbreaking, or the amusing.


Maps and Diagrams 
by Henry R. Wilkinson; Francis John Monkhouse
Call Number: GA105.M64 l969
ISBN: 0416074502
Publication Date: 1975-01-01


The Power of Maps 
by Denis Wood
Call Number: GA105.3 .W66 1992
ISBN: 0898624924
Publication Date: 1992-10-16
A consideration of maps which evaluates the significance of the signs and myths which are inherent in them, and considers them as subjective depictions of reality rather than unbiased reference objects.


Ships on Maps 
by Richard W. Unger
Call Number: GA231 .U54 2010
ISBN: 9780230231641
Publication Date: 2010-09-15
Ships on Maps investigates how, long admired but little understood, the many ships big and small that came to decorate maps in the age when sailors began to sail around the world were an integral part of the information summarizing a new age.


Washington in Maps 
by Iris Miller
Call Number: GA417 .M55 2002
ISBN: 0847824470
Publication Date: 2002-12-06
In “Washington in Maps, Iris Miller delves into this historic documentation, into sometimes rare and often buried maps and letters and charts, and reveals to us a brilliant portrait of this ever-evoloving capital of a nation.


Maps and Legends 
by Luca Cerizza (Editor)
Call Number: GA201 .M37 2007
ISBN: 3905829134
Publication Date: 2009-08-31


by Edward S. Casey
Call Number: GA203 .C37 2005
ISBN: 0816643326
Publication Date: 2005-03-03
Focusing on forms of mapping that depart radically from conventional cartography – particularly “mapping with/in,” being with or in a place, and “mapping out,” communicating that experience of connection with others – Casey shows how earth art and abstract painting respectively reshape our landscape and our view of it, drawing us in from our bird’s-eye view of the grid of highways and roads. In these works, we come to see the earth as it is sensed, remembered, and reshaped by artists as they explore the effect of the landscape on humans and the human effect on the landscape, and as they demand a response to the changing world around us.


The Power of Projections 
by Arthur Jay Klinghoffer; Harvey Sicherman (Foreword by)
Call Number: GA201 .K54 2006
ISBN: 0275991350
Publication Date: 2006-04-01


Else/Where – Mapping 
by Janet Abrams; Peter Hall (Contribution by)
Call Number: GA139 .E48 2006
ISBN: 0972969624
Publication Date: 2005-12-15
ELSE/WHERE: MAPPING charts the ascendancy of mapping as a powerful interdisciplinary strategy, one that links people and places, data and organizations, and physical and virtual environments. Traditionally written by history’s victors, maps are gaining new currency in our information-saturated age as a means of making arguments and processes visible.


Mapping Time and Space 
by Evelyn Edson
Call Number: GA221 .E37 1997
ISBN: 0712345353
Publication Date: 1999-01-01
Medieval world maps have been viewed in the past as quaint, amusing and simply wrong. This text studies these maps differently, showing that the medieval world view, as expressed in maps, was not only a matter of measuring space, but of placing the Earth in a philosophical and religious setting. A major component of this setting was the passage of time, and many medieval maps show a narrative of human spiritual development: creation, the giving of the law, the coming of Christ, and the Last Judgement.


Mapping Virginia 
by William C. Wooldridge; Mariners Museum (Newport News, Va.), Library Staff (Contribution by); John T. Casteen (Foreword by)
Call Number: GA455 .W55 2012
ISBN: 9780813932675
Publication Date: 2012-11-29
Moving from the years preceding Jamestown to the dawn of the postbellum era, Mapping Virginia represents the most comprehensive available selection of printed maps from Virginia’s first three hundred years.


Strange Maps 
by Frank Jacobs
Call Number: G1046.B8 J3 2009
ISBN: 9780142005255
Publication Date: 2009-10-29
An intriguing collection of more than one hundred out-of-the-ordinary maps, blending art, history, and pop culture for a unique atlas of humanity. Spanning many centuries, all continents, and the realms of outer space and the imagination, this collection of 138 unique graphics combines beautiful full-color illustrations with quirky statistics and smart social commentary.


The Map as Art 
by Katharine Harmon (Editor); Gayle Clemans
Call Number: N8222.M375 H37 2009
ISBN: 9781568987620
Publication Date: 2009-09-23
Maps can be simple tools, comfortable in their familiar form. Or they can lead to different destinations: places turned upside down or inside out, territories riddled with marks understood only by their maker, realms connected more to the interior mind than to the exterior world. These are the places of artists’ maps, that happy combination of information and illusion that flourishes in basement studios and downtown galleries alike.


Imago Mundi: the international journal for the history of cartography 
by International Society for the History of Cartography
Call Number: Fol. GA1 .I6 v.47 1995
Publication Date: 1995


Manual of coastal delineation from aerial photographs 
by McCurdy, Philip G.
Call Number: GB451 .M4
Publication Date: 1947


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