Sunday, October 24, 2010

infinite city: a san francisco atlas

one day, i went to a local independent bookstore, called the green arcade on market street - across from my favorite independent art supply store, Flax. at the cash register was a map, entitled Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas. Not only was the name intriguing, but the maps were free for the taking!

i opened it up and it was entitled Monarchs and Queens
with illustrations of butterflies and a drag queen in full glory. The map itself locates where butterflies are found in san francisco and how the city is a historically been a sanctuary for gay/queer culture, by locating queer public spaces throughout the city. the combination itself is whimsical, providing us with juxtapositions and cross connections about san francisco.

San Francisco artist Rebecca Solnit created this project, in partnership with SFMOMA. The museum is currently celebrating it's 75th anniversary this year and is producing a map with a different theme each month, which is supplemented with related programs and films. Solnit collaborates with local artists, writers and cartographers to create these maps with a story, exploring local identity, culture and politics.

a run down about the maps
july: monarchs and queens (where butterflies are found/queer spaces)
august: right wing of the dove (the bay area as a military center)
september: cinema city (eadweard muybridge and alfred hitchcock's connection to SF)
october: all identity is local (when identity changes from neighborhood to neighborhood)
november: poison palate (the bay area's food producers with toxic polluters)
december: lost world (san francisco's south of market before it was SOMA)

i really love this project so much i plan to collect all 6 maps!
plus, the project will also be released as a book, (same title) published by the UC Press, which will contain a total of 22 maps, art, essays and stories. found here

if you are in the bay area, you can drop by green apple books and pick up the maps there!


PamelaArtsinSF said...

Oooo very cool. I live very close and will head out to pick one up. I love Flax too--cannot get out with buying some wonderful art supplies.

catwrangler said...

Why do all these things happen now that I no longer live there??? I guess with my quick nip down to SF in late Nov for an all day class will let me squeeze in time to get the toxic SF map. :-) I love your post!

Jessica said...

Very cool idea! I'll have to go over and pick one up.

Sarah said...

Holy crap! I want to collect these. I wish I lived closer.

Anonymous said...

that sounds awesome! you make me more and more jealous that i don't live there.

Red Letter Day said...

This is such a beautiful, fantastic book! It's the perfect gift for a hard-to-buy-for friend, lovingly researched and well written. Made me appreciate SF in a whole new way...