October 21, 2004


O - MAP is a collection of maps exploring extremes of scale, and individuals responses to and perception of space and time, both as "life size" organisms within their familiar habitat and as minute points among the expanse of the cosmos.

People are asked to draw / produce two maps, one of Oxford, one of the universe. These can be in any medium, taking any form and size. They can be literal, topological, psychogeographical, visionary, speculative, maps of knowledge, of supposition, of speculation . . . anything. The authors of these cartographies of the immediate and of the limitless are drawn from diverse backgrounds and ages. Astrophysicists, artists, school children, passersby, nomads, Oxfordians, aliens . . .

Above is my map of Oxford*. A basic psychogeographical chart of my two lives in Oxford realised through the medium of an imaginary metro system. My father lived here between 1977 and 1994. I've been working here in the astrophysics department since 2003 and will continue to until the middle of 2005. My journey will end at the station on the eastern extremity of The '03 -'05 Line North, The Centre of the Universe, the proposed site of the "telescope".

My map of the universe is a work in progress. It's a re annotation of pages of an old Readers Digest Atlas, mapping the constellations onto their constituent stars terrestrial namesakes. Three of these are to be found in previous posts; Bootes, Andromeda and Cepheus. The rest lie in the future, as does an annex of cosmolog in which high res scans will live.

* In character with the incompetance of "real" subway systems, already the map is wrong, I forgot to name an important station, I forgot to mark others.

A larger version of the map is over . . . . . . there . . . . . .

Posted by Jem Finer at October 21, 2004 6:13 PM

Ask for my map next time you see me. I will respond with a 568 digit string of ASCII symbols and a burst of recorded static as an octal code on bakelite microfiche, the latter being an encryption of the key required to decode the map contained in the string. The algorithm you will need to recover the key is secreted in a strontium capsule implanted in the epithelium of one of my orifices, and to gain access you will have to feed me smoked bacon. Alternatively, I could draw it.

Posted by: Jamie Portsmouth at October 27, 2004 6:06 PM