Sunday, December 6, 2009

Maps of Every Place I Can Remember

One of my perennial projects - started long ago and occasionally returned to - is a sketchbook in which I endeavor to draw maps of every place that I can remember. The scale and boundaries of these maps are dictated by my recollection. I've started with the locations I my earliest memories: Grandparents houses, elementary schools, etc. As a result, though a few are quite detailed and complete, most have large gaps.
Particularly in these earliest spaces, I find myself surprised by how often a space that seems completely remembered in my mind, turns mercurial once put to paper. I will start a drawing of the first house I ever lived in sure that I recall, if not every cupboard and molding, at least the placement of rooms and doors, only to find myself rapidly flummoxed. Did my parents closet face east, or west? How large was the living room compared to my room?
My ideal version of this project is actually a website, where others could upload their own memory maps, and a cumulative diagram would form - a country delineated by the experiences of all involved. Although it would be intriguing to see how far this country would stretch, most interesting to me would be the places where the maps would overlap (although I imagine that such overlaps would often be unrecognizable without labeling).