Off Course: A Creative Exploration of Cartography, Cuisine, and Narrative

DOI: 10.14714/CP87.1423

Off Course: A Creative Exploration of Cartography, Cuisine, and Narrative

Preethi Balakrishnan, preethibalakrishnan.com | preethi.b@utexas.edu

Kelsey Boylan, kelseyboylan.com | kelseyboylan@utexas.edu

Off Course: A Creative Exploration of Cartography, Cuisine, and Narrative is a fictional anthology of 13 maps, connected by an underlying thread of food. The anthology is presented as if each map were created by a different person. While each map tells a story, there’s also a fictional character editing the anthology, with a narrative arc of his own. Our editor protagonist has a background in traditional cartography, but after a bad break up, he is trying to prove (to his ex and to himself) that he can be creative. This work follows his breakdown, which is reflected through the maps he’s chosen; the volume begins with with maps that are more conventional, but ends with maps that are more abstract. The editor’s story is told through the introductions that accompany each map: his commentaries are initially academic, but become increasingly personal as he struggles to define what a map is.

Each map was created so that it could stand alone as well as work within the larger narrative. Our goal was for each map to both tell a story and represent physical space in some way. Many of the historical maps, like those set in San Francisco and New York, are based on extensive research. While many of the maps have an unconventional form, the ultimate goal is to push the boundaries of what a map can represent by looking at mapping emotion, memory, and narrative.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Many thanks to Matthew Valentine, Sean LaBounty, Laurie Sauborn, and Becky Nasadowski for their supervision of this project.

EDITOR'S NOTE

Courtesy of the authors, you can read the entirety of Off Course by clicking this link. Enjoy!

Visual Fields focuses on the appreciation of cartographic aesthetics and design, featuring examples of inspirational, beautiful, and intriguing work. Suggestions of works that will help enhance the appreciation and understanding of the cartographic arts are welcomed, and should be directed to Section Editor Matt Dooley: mapdooley@gmail.com.

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