A map is an abstraction – a cultural system designed for and designated to geographies and topographies in order to better understand what is too vast to be comprehended through experience alone. It is not until the maps leads us to at a vista, a grotto, or an individual tree that we enter the realm of tactile, sensory awareness – making the abstraction reality.
We see the sun cast its light on the tree, and we grasp why it favors growth in a particular direction. We feel the strong wind blowing off the mesa and we understand why the tree is so twisted and wild. We see a spray painted mark on its trunk and, all the sudden, we are aware of its destiny. It is then we are able to formulate a more complex understanding, fusing the overlays of topography, geography and human penetrations pulled from computers and government files, laid out on paper, and the juniper tree we have been sitting with for twelve hours, diligently drawing. When we pick up our pencil and leave, space has become place. The experience plots its mark upon our bodies and minds. We carry the familiarity of a small portion of the map away with us Ð knowing a little bit more about the world we occupy.
Center for Contemporary Art Performance, Santa FE, NM