A Cartographer’s Breakdown

The map in front of you was conceived during the construction of a mobile lighthouse. Although the map exists independently, the lighthouse still haunts the texts and occasionally its beam can be seen sweeping through the landscapes they conjure up.

The way in which the lighthouse moves through these pieces can also be felt in what it leaves behind. A world in which lighthouses become mobile is a place where there are no fixed bearings and where everything exists in a state of flux. It is a world where the real and the imagined become indistinguishable, where things are shifting and where everything constantly needs to be reassessed.

It is questionable whether a space can exist in any other way than in relation to the subject. If this is the case we too become part of the flux and not only must we constantly attempt to negotiate our surroundings, one must also continuously try to (re)establish ones shifting identity.

Writing itself is often an attempt or a gesture toward some sort of understanding of the world in which we live and therefore it is apt that these pieces are part of this map sketching the imaginary and the shifting.

The pieces are written by writers from Sweden, Denmark, England, America and Scotland, all currently living and working in Glasgow. One element that shines through from the texts is the way in which a world in flux or a world that is unfamiliar can generate a sense of paralysis. In choosing Glasgow as the place from where to work and English the language in which to write, most of these writers have chosen to embrace the unfamiliar. Nevertheless they all try to work towards some sort of mapping and some sort of understanding, even if only fleeting.

Ulrich Hansen

Patricia Ace
Ellinor Charlotte Brown
Ulrich Hansen
Gabriella Jönsson
Kate Tough
JL Williams


The map was first showed at Reykjavik Art Festival together with
The Wandering Darkhouse.

Printed by A Shoal of Mackerel 2008
© the Authors


When funding will pour in a limited version of the map will be published. Until then fee free to download and print your own copy from the pdf files below.

black map (high resolution)
white map (high resolution)
black map (low resolution)
white map (low resolution)