La vida me ha llevado sin que oponga mucha resistencia a trabajar con un montón de lineas y polígonos georeferenciados que juntos hacen sentido. Las últimas ciudades que he conocido las recorro primero con el dedo en un mapa impreso o con el mouse de la computadora.
Arranque este texto de la revista de la aerolínea en la que viaje a París.
No puedo recordar con exactitud si fue de ida o de regreso.
Así también de frágil es la memoria.
Precision is the first thing we expect from maps. After centuries of myths, approximations and errors, they’re finally accurate, with the help of satellite observations and computer networks. These days it’s hard to get lost. Even the cosmos has its maps, planes have been inventoried, galaxies numbered. It should no longer be a question of imaginary maps, a subject relegated to a bygone era, when the Middle Ages believed that a great ocean surrounded inhabited lands; one of vast empty regions not navigated by 19th century explorers.
Yet this overlooks the fact that every map, however accurate, fuels the imagination, and that it is just this paradox that brings it to life. A map is the abstraction of a landscape, just as a blueprint is the abstraction of a city. No one would argue that a map alone could convey the visual context of this landscape or the ambient noise, winds and odors. Travelers gazing at a map while flying over Siberia, Oregon or the Amazon wonder what they’d see if the aircraft were to suddenly land: what would it look like? Photography and films help, as do snippets of things you’ve read. Yet it is the imagination, with its fragments of facts and memory, that weaves dreams about Siberia, Oregon or the Amazon, and there’s nothing more exhilarating elements, conjuring up rivers, mountains, trees.
The mind progresses through this space being formed before it and for it, growing richer and deeper every moment. The mind plays out scenes as it pleases, projecting intimate movies, childhood memories, passages read. Maps also serve this purpose: they are the theaters of these dreams, soon to be forgotten. Their flawless scientific truth, albeit significant, is only one of their merits, for this truth is overwhelmed by the need to imagine, which lives on in everyone- at least one hopes so.
Text by Philippe Dagen