Hung Out to Dry: A Taxonomy of City Blocks
Frank Jacobs on February 21, 2011, 8:14 PM
In an urbanist twist to the Tales of the Thousand and One Nights, Polo the Venetian regales Khan the Mongolian with glimpses of some fabulous cities in the latters huge empire. The stories, collected in Italo Calvinos Invisible Cities, oscillate between truth and fiction. Each of Polos cities displays one unique, defining feature. But these different cities may be nothing more than extrapolated miniatures of the homesick Venetians hometown.
Imagined cities built from the fragments of real ones: something similar is happening in Tout bien rangé, a cartography-based artwork by French artist Armelle Caron. It consists of a series of map pairs, one a blind, but recognisably real city map, the other what looks like an assembly kit for that same city, with the its blocks impracticably but neatly arranged by shape and size.