Art and cartography have a long common history. Leonardo da Vinci, for example, was simultaneously an engineer, a scientist, a painter and a cartographer and saw a true continuum in these disciplines. Maps are often found in works of art. One can think, for example, of Dutch painters of the 17th century such as Johannes Vermeer who did not hesitate to use maps in the background of his paintings. Even today, many artists use maps in their artistic productions. We can mention in particular Ingrid Dabringer, Ed Fairburn, Nikki Rosato, Matthew Cusik, the Stalker collective, Aram Baratholl, Ghislaine Escande or the Swedish graffiti artist Egs. On the other hand, many traditional cartographers very often also dream of being artists, and do not hesitate to borrow their aesthetic codes from the art world (colors, lines, abstractions, etc.). A rich and nurtured dialogue is therefore logically woven between these two worlds where the objective is not to describe or reproduce reality flatly but to build images that make one think, move and challenge. Scientific conferences and meetings are organized and books are written to explore this fruitful intersection between art and geographic science. The International Cartography Association (ICA), which federates scientific research on cartography on an international scale, has a commission especially dedicated to this subject.
The map presented here is not an original creation, but a reappropriation of the magnificent work of Angela Detanico and Rafael Lain, two artists fascinated by language and typography who like to play with geographic space. In their work entitled “The justified world, aligned to the left, centered, aligned to the right” (2004), they propose cartographic versions of the world, a centralized world, a world aligned to the right and a world aligned to the left, as so many others. utopian and distorting representations. Other works can be found here.
Nicholas Lambert is a CNRS Research Engineer in Geographic Information Sciences at RIATE: https://riate.cnrs.fr. He is a communist activist and a member of the Migreurop network. He also has a blog, “neocartográfico notebook”, and is very active on social media under the pseudonym “cartographer encarté” @nico_lambert.
Each month it presents us with one or several cards accompanied by a comment to help us understand and apprehend an information, a social issue or a debate in a different way. Nicolas Lambert has participated in the production of various works such as the atlas of europe in the world (2008), the atlas of immigrants in europe (2009, 2012, 2017), cartography handbook (2016, published in English in 2020) and mad maps (2019). She teaches cartography at the University of Paris.
Find here all the interactive maps he made for Humanity.