A Never-Ending Map Of Imaginary Cities

Artist spends decades creating an always-growing hand-drawn paper map of an imaginary place. Development is determined by drawing a random card from a custom deck of cards.
September 5, 2013, 2pm PDT | Abhijeet Chavan
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Since 1963,  Jerry Gretzinger has been drawing and painting an ever-growing paper map filled with imaginary cities, rivers, lakes, railroads, airports, highways, & farmlands. He uses a photocopier, pens, and paints and keeps track of the growing map's over 2600 "tiles" in a spreadsheet.

"Now Jerry uses a specially crafted deck of cards to determine the outcome of his world, with fictitious cities like “Plaeides,” “Wybourne” and the largest, “Ukrainia.” Each day he draws cards to see how a page of his gigantic map will be modified, with perhaps the most unusual card being the 'void.' With this card a blank spot is put on the map, wiping out previous details completely and opening up a world of new possibility. "

The map was on exhibit at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in 2012. A zoomable version of the map is available online.

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Published on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 in Visual News
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