A Series of Dilemmas

The Cartographer’s Dilemma

media used: polymer clay, ink, and sand on wood and plexiglass

Cartographers use an illustrative short-hand to describe geographic features of the physical world. This short-hand form of communication allows the viewer to have an easy baring on the contours and layout of the area depicted on the cartographer’s map. Exaggerated color palettes, lines of various weight, and solid fields of color all act as simplified yet concise forms of communication informing the map viewer of the geography depicted. Instead of focusing on the actual details of the full terrain, the map user can rely solely on the map to find her way around the area.

Spoken and written language serve as ways to describe the physical world as well. Words are a tool in describing the vast facets and features of our world and the ways in which we interact with and within it.

Are not words also another form of short-hand, simplifying, or exaggerating how we see the physical world? A culture’s vocabulary bares such a significant impact on how its members regard the world in which they live. Could it be that the more complex and sophisticated our spoken and written language forms become, the more removed we are from merely experiencing the physical world?

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The Architect’s Dilemma

media used: polymer clay, ink, acrylic paint and cement on wood and plexiglass