Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A general lack of direction

If you drive in LA and don’t have GPS (and even if you do), you'd better know how to read maps and - if you’re on the freeway - how to read them fast. LA is big and it's tough on navigators. Just because you’re outside 2015 Fairfax don’t mean diddly squat whatever the number says, if you are in South Fairfax instead of North. 

When gallerist and artist Giovanni Intra was here in the late nineties we didn’t need maps. Giovanni seemed to know every square inch of the place. When he died Starkwhite arranged a small exhibition of work by some friends. Included was a drawing by LA artist Eric Wesley of a hand with the palm lines named for some of the streets of LA. Maybe we should have brought it with us as we constantly found ourselves having to draw our own sketch maps to get us from one part of the city to another. GPS is great, but strangely enough although you always know where you are going with GPS you never seem to know where you actually are.

All this was brought to mind by coming across the book From Here to There by Kris Harzinski. It's a collection of hand-drawn maps from the Hand Drawn Map Association. Handy.