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Into this seemingly lighthearted 7" 10" look into people's love affairs with maps and mapmaking, Harmon packs some serious intellectual concepts about the human impulse to locate itself in the cosmos. Under the loose and expandable categories of "Personal Geography," "At Home in the World" and "Realms of Fantasy," Harmon presents 50 four-color and 50 b&w cartographical illustrations, including Professor Eugene Turner's smily and frowny faces placed on a map of Los Angeles convey data on the unemployment rates, urban stress and racial composition of individual neighborhoods, putting substantive research in a down-to-earth guise. Ellsworth Kelly's "Fields on a Map (Meschers, Gironde)" pulls an abstract pastoral out of a real place, while Kisaburo Ohara makes an octopus-like Russia seem vividly frightening in "A Humorous Diplomatic Atlas of Europe and Asia." Kim Dingle's collection of variously erroneous maps of the United States drawn by American students are equally thought provoking. Harmon has cannily selected a variety of essays, humorous, personal, analytical: e.g., Bridget Booher's chronological "map" of every injustice done to her body, Roger Sheffer's absorbing analysis of the little maps drawn in the registers of shelters along the Appalachian Trail, and Hugh Brogan's professorial elegy for the fantastical maps that used to be printed in Arthur Ransome's children's books. Purists may dislike the way that illustrations of various maps are not linked directly to the texts; others may find it refreshing, much like the kind of map that makes you expect a new and alluring surprise around every corner. Harmon's intricate and thoughtful selections do indeed prove her point that mapmaking is as diverse and extraordinary a human act as any other.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"...a charming companion for those who prefer to begin their voyages by sitting back and closing their eyes." -- Best Of The Year, Washington Post Book World, December 7, 2003
"...beautiful meditation on mapping..." -- Florida Inside Out, April 2005
"For anyone attracted to maps and for those who need an introduction...an enchanting browse and a constant delight." -- The Calgary Herald, December 13, 2004
"Take a journey into the human psyche with 'You Are Here'...You'll get lost in them before you know it." -- Wired, November 2003
"This is a book to savor, absorb, and return to again and again for ideas and inspiration." -- Scrapbooking Beyond, April 2005
...a celebration of finding one's place in the universe...an eclectic, thought-provoking meditation. -- San Francisco Bay Guardian, Lit, January 15, 2004
"Harmon has put together an intriguing assaying of map-making as an attempt to understand where we are and where we hope to get- whether it's Winnemucca or Zamboanga, Heaven or Hell." --Reno News & Review, June 23, 2005
"...explores its transcendental territory beautifully, using numerous charts of real and imaginary terrains created by artists, designers, and an assortment of daydreamers." --PRINT, February, 2004
"This colorful compendium of maps -- by artists, children, hikers, and others -- proves even cartography can be creative. Maps from a canine point of view, maps made of sticks or carved in stone, maps of concepts, the human body, and fictional places -- they all make sense in a wonderful way that renders 'up north' and 'down south' thoroughly passe." --Utne Reader, March, 2003
"We read for the great pleasures that even average works bring but also to increase our odds of encountering that rarest of books: the one that cracks our minds open wide with unexpected delights. I came across one of these literary Holy Grails recently: 'You Are Here: Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination', edited by Katharine Harmon (Princeton Architectural Press, $19.95, paper). To describe it as a book of maps would be like calling 'Absalom, Absalom!' just a novel or the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, just a building: not wrong, but not atall right." --Raleigh News & Observer
"You Are Here is one of those books that does not fit into a category that most readers know. . . These maps take you to voyages of the mind, of the subconscious, of the dream world." --Umbrella, December, 2003
"Beautifully printed with hundreds of full-color illustrations, YOU ARE HERE is a loosely-tied-together collection of essays, quotations, and musings about maps that offers no concrete answers to the questions it poses.Instead, it becomes a kind of choose your own adventure for the reader. It asks us to make connections and posit our own theories as we go, unguided by an underlying thesis." --Yale Review of Books, Spring/Summer 2004
"Into this seemingly lighthearted 7"x10" look into people's love affairs with maps and mapmaking, Harmon packs some serious intellectual concepts about the human impulse to locate oneself in the cosmos; the intricate and thoughtful works she presents show mapmaking as diverse and extraordinary a human act as any other." --Publisher's Weekly, November,17,2003
"The relationship between technology and visualization-in essence between mapmaking and the imagination-is made clear as a vast and fertile landscape of possibility. And this, along with Harmon's choice not to expound on this didactically, is the book's real strength." --Graphis, December, 2004
"Katharine...began her pursiut as a hobby, collecting placment maps during a ten-month trip around the U.S. in 1986. Her hobby evolved into a gathering of works of geographical art, adeptly portrayed in YOU ARE HERE... Maps, charts, and art pieces alike share the common emphasis of geographical representation and Katharine Harmon's unique presentation should not be missed." --The Bookwatch, August, 2008
"...a charming companion for those who prefer to begin their voyages by sitting back and closing their eyes." --Washington Post Book World, December 7, 2003
"This collection of artists' maps-subtitled "Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imaginations"-demonstrates our intrinsic need to imagine borders, however ridiculous and inaccurate they may be." --TOKION, January, 2004
". . . a quirky browser's delight . . ." --Seattle Post-Intelligencer, November 8, 2004
"Exploration is at the heart of "You Are Here, Katharine Harmon's compendium of "personal geographies," her catch-all term for quirky maps and map-inspired art carrying a strong imprint of the individual who created it. Harmon juxtaposes work by noted artists and designers (Claes Oldenberg, Seymour Chwast) with tickling discoveries by more unlikely candidates." --Newsday, November 30, 2003
This book is so good that I bought it 3 times. It is so good that I go to it's page every 2 months or so to scroll down and see if any other books on the subject of "abstract... Read morePublished 7 months ago by porchlight
This book is great because of its' randomness-- you've got a series of maps and artwork that is arranged for no apparent reason. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Jeff Commissaris
Having been treated to a water color class called Mapping Your Walk and barely knowing what a brush was, I found this particular book motivating and stimulating.Published on August 25, 2013 by Alfa
A rich assortment of =visual interpretations of the idea of mapping.. I have used this book as an inspiration and resource for my art classes-- and was so happy to discover... Read morePublished on June 27, 2009 by Barbaraartiste
I used a graphic design class I teach as an excuse to purchase this book (I've been wanting it for a while). My students are loving it as much as I do.Published on October 6, 2008 by M. Bortolussi