every country is the same
Maps can tell us as much about politics and ideology as they do about space. As with any representation, you can’t put it all in; you only include what’s important to you […] Nations and empires trace borders. The navigation needs of European merchants and explorers determined the shape of Mercator’s familiar world map, which also dramatically minimized the size of Africa and the Tropics. But today, the argument goes, social and economic forces are shrinking the globe and physical location is losing its importance. So if we’re beyond space, what will our new maps look like? [Alex Aylett]
In Antonia Hirsch‘s World map series , the shape of each of the world’s countries is scaled to occupy the same relative area, which is then transformed into a transparent layer. All layers are overlaid, making the centre of the image, which is shared by many countries, highly saturated in colour. Individual shapes are difficult to discern, yet this map’s uncertain borders and ambiguous shape can be understood to describe the territory of the average country.
The same conceptual process is used to conceive her universal Untitled World Flag in 2009, where 200 countries melt with each other through their flags, morphing into one.
[images 1&2> world map, Antonia Hirsch 2006] [image3> untitled universal flag, Antonia Hirsch 2009]