Nova Orbis Tabula in lucem edita

Nova Orbis Tabula in lucem edita

Painting, Landscape, Minimal, Philosophy, Architecture, Mixed technique, 110x70cm
Nova Orbis Tabula in lucem edita - New World Map Accentuated in the Light. The title of the project of MDMM (Markus Drassl and Michael Meraner) is taken from the world map of the same name elaborated by the Dutch cartographer, engraver and publisher Frederik de Wit. This map saw the light of day in the year 1662 and is described as one of the most fascinating of its time.
MDMM are contemporary cartographers in the uncharted sea of data. The introduction of Google Earth was a historic moment of the Internet. Never before anyone (except cosmonauts and co.) has seen the Earth from this perspective. Weightless, we can now glide over it, zoom in on it and at the same time focus on different places. During their expeditions in new territories of digital maps, Markus Drassl and Michael Meraner search for unknown perspectives and structures in their immediate, seemingly familiar surroundings. Furthermore, they contrast digital orthophotos with radically simplified terrain models.
In the images of MDMM everything has disappeared except the contour lines of the mountain landscapes. By utilizing rust, Markus Drassl and Michael Meraner draw the delicate contours of the Ortler area, the Val Senales, the Tre Cime di Lavaredo or the Mitterberg on standardized steel sheets. By exposing prepared metal plates to the rain, over time fine color nuances appear together with smallest kaleidoscopic structures. These snapshots are then permanently captured with different types of oil (in a secret, alchemical process) on the corten steel. A picturesque and at the same sculptural practice.
In some of the images the contour lines extending over the whole image area bend abruptly, only to diverge then radially, resembling in this way to a tissue that is about to dissolve. Other times the lines continue to run parallel and transform the depicted landscape in a bar code. By mirroring map details, MDMM generate a further alienation of the terrain model and create thus potentially endless reproducible invented landscapes. On other sheets, in turn, a "glitch" in the lines can be detected. MDMM are deliberatly looking for these distortions in the terrain model, which are caused by faulty connections of different images. White stains emerge thus on the maps of MDMM, similar to those where the monsters and dragons have been settled long time ago.
Maps tell stories. They are closely related to our history and reorganize it at the same time repeatedly. Balances of power, fears, colonial ambition, curiosity and scientific progress are reflected on them. The digital revolution had a main impact on cartography: equipped with GPS and navigation systems, it is now more than ever an art to lose ones way. MDMM are masters in this art of getting lost. They roam in the world of digital maps, linger in places whenever they feel like it and set coordinates at their own pleasure and discretion. MDMM are contemporary, subversive topographic surveyors. In our world of total visibility they resemble the protagonists K. of Franz Kafka's novel "The Castle", who is mistrusted and presumed to be rather "a common tramp, and probably worse".

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Comments 4

Antonio Mercadante
3 years ago
Chi è creativo stabilisce un rapporto ambiguo con la realtà che lo circonda in quanto, anche se facente parte di essa, ne modifica l'intensità creando mondi, suoni,forme che altrimenti non esisterebbero quindi... in qualche modo le disobbedisce. Un po' come un ragazzino che al contrario di quanto gli dica la mamma prende la sua bici e va alla scoperta...
hao jia
3 years ago
hao jia Artist
3 years ago
MDMM Artist
priscilla pallante
3 years ago
priscilla pallante Artist, Photographer
Great work!

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