fort wall street
December 23, 2008, 1:23 am
Filed under: brave new world | Tags: , , , , , ,


This is map made by the artist Lordy Rodriguez for the Get Lost show at the New Museum on the Bowery.  There is a description of the intent of the show below.  Have a look at the other maps here.

Rodriguez’s map shows Manhattan at some future date.  It is a clear and perhaps alarming view of a very different time.  The island, Central Park, the Hudson and East Rivers, Broadway, the world trade center and Brooklyn are all recognizable elements that tell us we are in Manhattan.  However there are changes which mark drift from the ideas and forms that make up the New York we know today.

There are more changes than first are evident.  In the boldest move Rodriguez divides uptown – central park and the upper east and west sides – from downtown with a broad canal.  It is traversed with one bridge.  All other bridges have been wiped clean and the sole connection between north and south – a new bridge for Broadway – is marked with a bold red line.  All connections to Brooklyn and Queens have been erased.

The east west streets in uptown are broken down into a fractured, Medieval construct and Central Park’s rational modernist edge eroded and made wild and naturalistic.  Brooklyn and Queens are equally green and wild. 

Like in uptown, the downtown street grid is fractured and Medieval and aggressive long piers jut from the lower Manhattan shoreline as if to protect the small island from attack.  A fort wall separates City Hall and the Financial District from the northern part of lower Manhattan.

This map, done in 2007, maybe prophetically shows a social movement away from the rational open modern city and toward a stance of entrenchment.  It is a picture of fear and regression. 

From the New Museum website: 

Lordy Rodriguez’s map envisions Manhattan in the tradition of cult films such as Blade Runner or Escape from New York.  Bridging the history of Manhattan with his vision of its future, Rodriguez creates an island cut off by a canal and a financial center protected by fortified walls and soldiers.

GET LOST brings together fictional landscapes, utopian visions, private memories, and obsessive instructions to explore Manhattan, its past, present, and future.

An exercise in emotional geography, GET LOST sketches the coordinates for an endless drift across the streets and myths of downtown New York.


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