dialogue #09 ‘plane landscapes’

Maps

With the help of a map, one gets orientation and can define its own position within its surrounding and (urban) landscape. Before digitalization, schools used big maps (being an printed object) to show kids in an overall view where they are living within the world and what the neighbors are (beside also forming a nationalistic identity). So this ist the first time a kid gets a picture of the world, everybody is talking about, and starts differentiating between landscape, urban space and nature space. So I used these old school maps to make my own new pictures and see what they show us today, or what kind of pictures they can give us today. This screenshot shows my own playground, with different pictures, still open in which directions it goes.

Maps outside
To get another view on the maps and what they show, i went outside and photographed them again, in reality, the ‘real context’. I had different maps in different locations. The maps have names like “Silent Switzerland” or “The States of the World”.
I have again different pictures with different settings on my playground. Looking at these pictures, a website comes to my mind, (now we are in the digital age, where we perceive maps only on screens), https://thetruesize.com, which tries to shows the distortion of the old mercator map (used in the old school maps) and show the real size of countries. What is being criticized is that the mercator map exaggerates the size of countries nearer the poles, while downplaying the size of those near the equator, and as a result, the way we think about the world.

And this reminds me again of how i encountered the world in school with these old school maps and that maybe i got a wrong picture in the first place.

21.01.2018 Zürich

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Adjacent to the world – like ours

Lumion is a rendering package that is accessible, fast and easy to use, becoming commonplace in many architecture, urbanism and landscape offices for its speed and simplicity as a means of communicating design proposals though stills, 360° panoramas and animation. Where many views of potential futures are collaged using rendered scenes with images from a plethora of sources within Photoshop’s layered two-dimensional plane, programmes such as Lumion use clearly defined options and a library of up to 4,395 models which can be arranged in the three-dimensional simulated space of the programme to proclaim a new reality, or represent our own. This three dimensional simulation and its accompanying tools and library is in itself a constructed space with its own logic and limitations. In seeking to quickly communicate clearly and accurately through multiple frames of an animation, or interactive views, we adopt tools that carry their own compromise; material surfaces are optimised for processing speed and the limited catalogues become the language and the content of a proposal. In the pursuit of clarity, representation becomes the selection of an approximation, from a pre-determined, fixed and limited field. Something adjacent to what it was meant to be.

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