Piece description from the artist
This piece was built up in daily layers over a period of weeks. I clustered "blocks" of water-resistant masking fluid and applied a wash after each addition. The result is that the "blocks" that were applied earliest in the process are the lightest in color, moving out towards the darker blocks on the edge of the piece. The process recalls the way that city shapes grow organically from an original settlement, and also the way we modify our environment to suit our increasing numbers.
Emily Garfield creates intricate maps of imaginary places that explore the origins of cities and the function of maps themselves. Her work is inspired by the visual language of maps as well as the fractal similarity that cities share with biological processes such as the patterns of cells and neurons.
Taking inspiration from scientific approaches, Emily Garfield bases her art practice on collaborative discovery as much as individual research, highlighted in ongoing monthly science-art meetups as well as workshops: at Genspace in New York, and at the DeCordova Museum and the Peabody Essex Museum while in Boston, among others. She was the 2014 director of the Somerville Open Studios city-wide arts event, and now lives in New York where she helps to produce the Tribeca Art+Culture Night art festival. Emily Garfield received her BA in Visual Arts from Brown University, where she also studied the aesthetic response through cognitive science.
Time-lapse map drawing video: http://vimeo.com/50571510
7-minute presentation from 2017 on making maps from rules: https://youtu.be/x6yIast7AFo
20-minute presentation from 2020 on inspirations and science connection: https://youtu.be/dtpsDWZg3tA