Where You Are: Cartography as Wayfinding for the Soulby Maria Popova Mapping the human experience based on disposition rather than position. Humanity has had a long and obsessive relationship with maps as sensemaking tools serving such diverse purposes as propaganda, imaginative interpretation, emotional memory, and timekeeping. Far from the precise navigational tools they once were, maps have now blossomed into masterworks of artful subjectivity, from Denis Wood’s narrative atlas to Paula Scher’s stunning typographic cartography – but nowhere more so than in Where You Are: A Collection of Maps That Will Leave You Feeling Completely Lost (public library ) by Visual Editions. Consisting of sixteen maps by sixteen different artists and writers in a beautifully designed boxed set of booklets and fold-out maps, including contributions from Alain de Botton, Geoff Dyer, and Olafur Eliasson, this remarkable and unusual compendium places people rather than geography at the heart of the compass to construct a provocative new conception of cartography as wayfinding for the soul, not the body. Indeed, in the age of GPS and sterile, data-driven cartographic precision, how delightful to consider mapping the human experience based on disposition rather than position, on the subjective rather than the capital-O Objective, on the symbolic, metaphysical, and abstract rather than the literal, physical, and concrete. From Geoff Dyer’s bullet-pointed locational autobiography to Sheila Heti and Ted Mineo’s love letter to chance in a six-hexagram miniature of the , these imaginative and irreverent personal cartographies expand the conception of a map as a flat reflection of geography and reclaim it, instead, as a living, breathing, dimensional expression of the human spirit. Novelist Joe Dunthorne offers an illustrated map of “the mess of influences, anxieties, past failures, hopes, enemies, distractions and stimulants [of] each writing day”: In an essay contemplating the delights of old maps, at once so misguided and so brave, philosopher Alain de Botton (yes, him – and him – also him) observes: The pleasure of contemplating the world on a map might be likened to that of reading certain novels.

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