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Subterranean Geography

Subterranean Geography 2, 2012 / 

Subterranean Geography 1, 2011 / 

I: Varied edition of 5

II: Varied edition of 10

Cut MTA subway maps, Text by the artist: archival inkjet text & photos on Dobbin Mill papers, altered library catalog cards, acrylic paint

Size: 5” x 9” x 1.25”

Subterranean Geography I & II are both nonlinear combinations of installation and artist book, part of my ambulatory mapping project about New York City. The two editions utilize actual subway maps for the book block to depict specific spaces and travel through them. Layered filigree pages contrast with the text’s directness and remind viewers of the complexity of both described space and of feelings. The maps are refolded into two pamphlets, each with prose about movement in the city: Subterranean Geography I has a description of my ambulatory mapping to the “L” subway station, while Subterranean Geography II contains a story of a subway trip from a given day. Each book’s texts are connected to an experience loaded with emotion and memory.


Additional thoughts:

After several years of my ambulatory mapping practice, I felt a real need to make artist books about my ideas and these experiences.  Utilizing the actual MTA map and transforming it through detailed cutting was a wonderful albeit obsessive action to appropriate this symbolic representation of my actual movement through the city. Its alternation from a folded single sheet into a double pamphlet book was an apt metaphor for my re-interpretations of the city itself -- They were thus transformed into the mappings that inform me of place of events of memory.  


Quotations from these books:


One night on the subway, a man cut 

out his heart.  

I just sat there.


So, the ride has begun.  

From a simple test, 

we move forth,

One step at a time, 

but moving inexorably forward.

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