Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Modular Map Installation - Progress

The display windows of the Davis Square CVS, which are prominently visible in the middle of the square, often house works by local artists or exhibitions relating to current events in the neighborhood. This month they will have a combination of both -- an installation I'm putting together reflecting this year's ArtBeat theme, "Migration". I'm working on some "migrating" dimensional maps, a flock of birds, and a series of large-scale map "scrolls" as a backdrop. 

This was my preliminary installation sketch (not quite to scale):

The modular, dimensional map project has definitely been more time-consuming than I had anticipated, although I have made efforts to streamline the process. The problem is that it's so difficult to anticipate what the parts will look like together before you have multiple in front of you. Here's a progress shot of the first one I made:

It turned into the large one on the right in this photo, and in the detail below. Note how the more recent ones I've done are smaller, have more "legs" (to take up space as well as add movement!) and are much less dense:

Painting in the fields/squares may well be the most time-consuming part. (I actually calculated it out at one point, when I feared that the project was doomed: for each triangular segment, I spend about 1 minute average on tracing and cutting out, 5 minutes drawing the map, 1 minute gluing, but 12 minutes painting). 

The installation goes up on Friday morning. I'll be sure to post photos!

UPDATE: We've decided to postpone the installation until Tuesday (partially because it's a LOT more work on my end than I anticipated!). It'll be up from July 10 - August 3 July 30th, and during ArtBeat, which is July 21st.

UPDATE 2: I showed a segment of the installation in an art crit meetup last night and I'm excited about how it looked all together. Here's a photo:

I also got a lot of great feedback about it. It hadn't occurred to me, even with the dimensional "folded" shape, that they look like an animation of paper folding itself (especially since these particular pieces are all a similar size), and that the shape could refer to paper road maps as well as topography.

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