One of the oldest creative forms protected under copyright is the map. Maps and charts were added to U.S. copyright law in 1790, before painting, sculpture or music. Yet unlike these artistic forms, maps derive their merit from their functionality and factuality: a map should resemble other maps of the same location. If copyright is given in part for originality, how does originality apply to mapmaking? This project aims to probe, not to definitively answer, that question. Combining several maps of New York to produce a new map that is still clearly an image of New York suggests that maps are not so unique after all. Yet the clear distinctions in color and style between the patches from different maps reminds us that there are multiple and original ways of looking at the same city, especially a proverbial melting pot like New York, whose identity is formed by the intersecting and overlapping perspectives of its diverse population.
Digital collage, printed on matte paper. 4 in by 16 in.
Mounted on black illustration board