Mapping It Out

An Alternative Atlas of Contemporary Cartographies



ISBN: 9780500239186 Category:


Over 130 of the world’s most creative minds make sense of our exterior and interior worlds through intriguing and imaginative maps of their own devising. Imaginative, visionary and richly absorbing, this book will appeal to anyone interested in how we visualize our worlds, physical or abstract, real or imagined.

Whether they chart a newly discovered land or lay out a complicated process, maps serve to improve our understanding of what surrounds us. They make the complex simple, and reveal the complexity behind the apparently straightforward.

Original and thought-provoking, Mapping It Out invites leading lights from a host of fields to create a personal map of their own, in whatever form and showing whatever terrain they choose, whether real-world or imaginary.

Some contributors have translated scientific data into simplified visual language, while others have condensed vast social, political or natural forms into concise diagrams. Many have reworked existing maps to subvert their original purpose or to present an alternative view of reality. Others play with the map’s commitment to truth by plotting invented worlds and charting imaginative flights of fancy. Going further, some offer entirely new kinds of map – or even reject the map’s claim to bear facts altogether.

In his Introduction, acclaimed novelist Tom McCarthy reflects on the relationship between maps, literature and knowledge, while Hans Ulrich Obrist considers the influence of maps on artistic creativity.

Additional information

Weight 1266 g
Dimensions 27.8 x 19.9 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 1 June 2014
Number of pages 240
Format Hardback
Contributors Edited by Hans Ulrich Obrist
Dimensions 27.8 x 19.9 cm
Weight 1266 g


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Hans Ulrich Obrist is an art curator, critic and historian. He is the Co-Director of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects at the Serpentine Gallery, London.