Cartographic Exhibitions in Chelsea

Cartographic Exhibitions in Chelsea

There are three excellent map-related exhibitions on display in Chelsea until late October. I strongly encourage you to find an hour to make the trek to 10th Ave.

First, Mishka Henner at Bruce Silverstein, through October 24: Henner mines Google Maps for examples of how the aerial view often reveals the accidentally sublime geometries of our man-made landscapes, and how those “objective” views are often convoluted by various commercial or security concerns.

Mishka Henner, Nato Storage Annex, Coevorden Drenthe, 2011

Mishka Henner, Nato Storage Annex, Coevorden Drenthe, 2011 (photo via Silverstein)

Mishka Henner, 18 ways of looking at an oil derrick (my title -- and my photo)

Mishka Henner, 18 ways of looking at an oil derrick (my title — and my photo)

Second, Trevor Paglen at Metro Pictures, through October 24: In keeping with his ongoing investigation of covert military and intelligence operations, Paglen examines the “geography and aesthetics of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) global surveillance programs.” We see maps of NSA cable-tapping “choke points,” photos of  undersea cables (see also Nicole Starosielski’s book and map on transoceanic cables), a two-channel video highlighting communications infrastructures and sites of covert intelligence operations, text crawlers of cryptographic codes, and other cool stuff.

Trevor Paglen (photo via Metro Pictures)

Trevor Paglen (photo via Metro Pictures)

Trevor Paglen Cable Landing; Choke Point Map (photo by me)

Trevor Paglen Cable Landing; Choke Point Map (photo by me)

Third, Sarah Sze at Tanya Bonakdar, through October 17: Sze examines the materials, instruments, and conceptual techniques we employ to construct our senses of space — how we frame the fragments of an image (as we frequently do with composite satellite images) in order to grasp the “big picture,” how we rely on a limited set of visual tropes to understand our place within the cosmos, and how our desire for orientation translates across different scales.

Sarah Sze, framing fragments of sky (photo by me)

Sarah Sze, framing fragments of sky (photo by me)

Sarah Sze, windows and shards and screens (photo by me)

Sarah Sze, windows and shards and screens (photo by me)

Sarah Sze, world on a string (photo by me)

Sarah Sze, world on a string (photo by me)

Sarah Sze, lines + spheres (photo by me)

Sarah Sze, lines + spheres (photo by me)