A Map to Change aims to point out how domestic infrastructure locks us in an over-consumtive society. Change the entire system to reach sustainability
I'm an artist and a printmaker, and I try to keep it a secret, but I'm an environmentalist, too. At least recently "going green" is cool, so I'm less ashamed than usual to admit this.
So anyway, I've had this magnum opus of an idea brewing in my head for a few years now, and my gut is telling me its time to start hatching some eggs, so to speak.
So here goes (skip to the end for an outline, if you're in a hurry):
Its no secret that the United States prides itself in gluttonous over-abundance, wasteful spending, and never having to worry if there's enough to go around. Part of being an American is knowing you can go to your local Super Wal-Mart 24/7 and get anything you want, provided you've got the cash or credit.
Its also no secret that this life-style, this unalienable right that we all believe in, puts trillions of tons of CO2 and other toxic chemicals into the atmosphere, causes trillions of tons of toxic chemicals to be dumped on our soil, in our rivers and oceans, and in our food, and results in trillions of tons of waste, biodegradable or not, being buried in our countryside and jettisoned to sea.
Some of you true blooded patriots out there might say, "What's wrong with that?"
Nothing, really, if you don't care that your grandchildren stand to be the last generation of the human race.
Let's be clear for a second: It's not the planet I'm worried about. The planet will do just fine. Mother Earth will simply tire of us to the point were she employs some super typhoon, or super earthquake, or super volcano, or super awful anything, really, and kill us all off. A few millennia will go by, and the the algae and ferns will grow back, and life will continue, without us to eff it up.
So what do I plan to do about it? Why I'm a wasting all your time here with this granola-apocalyptic dribble?
I'm going to make an art project, naturally.
I'm going to make a map of the United States, well, a few maps, and they won't look like anything you're ever seen before, that is before you saw the image I uploaded onto this page.
I'm going to make maps of the United States that don't involve political boarders or natural landmarks (well maybe some natural stuff, I don't know yet).
The maps are going to include things like the interstate system (pictured), the electric transmission grid, flows of waste management, the food industry, et cetera and so forth. The map is going to look at what the United States has developed as its infrastructure, the systems that we all rely on to live the lives we do. The goal in doing this is to point out how wasteful it all is: how redundant all the garbage truck routes are, why its easier to drive your car across country (or truck your beef or corn) than to take a train at a fraction of the energy-cost, why the powers that be don't believe in wind power actually making a dent on our national energy usage.
I'm going to use our infrastructure to point out everything that we're doing wrong. And when you hang it up on your wall, it's going to look totally cool. You're friends will come over and say, "What is that?!" and you'll be able to say, "That's what wrong with America."
I'm going to map the alternative, the solution. I'm going to map what the country's infrastructure COULD look like, in a situation where all our shining happy faces can all get along, where we support local food and we don't ship it around the country six times before we eat it, where we recycle and compost and keep most of our garbage out of the land fills and the ocean, where we don't rely on petro-chemicals to be American.
Maybe someone will listen? Hopefully its not too late? Honestly, I don't really know what, then.
Ideally, all Americans would collectively say together, "Let's fix it, " and we'd all pick up our shovels and pick axes and cordless drills and build a system that supported itself, that could sustain us all, ideally.
So what do I need Kickstarter for? Money, duh.
I need the money for research mostly, and the rest for supplies.
The first leg of my journey is complete. I drew a map of the interstate system. I bough a $20 rand McNally, scanned the lower 48, laced them all together into one mega-map, fried a few hard drives in the process, and drew the layer that stands alone as the interstate system. It took a long time, but its done and it looks awesome.
The second leg of my journey is to map the energy transmission grid, a majorly wasteful and failing second layer of our national infrastructure. The trouble is is that Rand McNally doesn't sell that map, and the people that do want a lot more than $20 for it. $500 plus shipping, actually.
So the first $500 I raise is going to buy that map. The rest of the money will go towards the other research that I'll have to do. I sense a long stint at the Library of Congress. My cousin lives in DC, so I can stay with him, but I'll need a train ticket and some lunch money, and supplies and stuff.
You get the idea, right?
Then when I've got a lot of the layers together, and I can step back and say, "Wow, this country really sucks," I'm going to start printing the posters. And these aren't going to be any regular poster you buy at Super Wal-Mart for $7.88, these are going to be fine art posters, hand printed and published by me, the artist. Most likely silkscreens, but a possible combo of techniques. Limited edition, signed by the artist, archival, the real deal.
So I need money for the paper and the ink and the really big screens and stuff.
And since I'm going to edition the poster, meaning make more than one, I'll make a lot so all of you who pledge enough to pay for the piece of paper and the shipping will get one.
Cool, right? I really hope you think its cool.
OUTLINE: 1. The USA is OBESE, not just physically, but culturally. 2. The human race as is will likely die out sooner than later. 3. We have a system that promotes our obesity. 4. We've got to change EVERYTHING if we want to stand a chance. 5. I'm going to make some pretty posters (maps) that are going to show what's wrong and what to do about it. 6. I need money for research to draw my maps. 7. I need money for supplies to make the actual posters. 8. If you support me, you'll get one.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $1,000 goal
seconds to go
Nov 13, 2009 - Feb 11, 2010
Pledge $1 or more
A personal thank you. I will email you personally and thank you for your contribution. Also, I'll add your name to the "Funded By" section of the credits.
Pledge $5 or more
A personal thank you and a postcard. I will email you personally and thank you for your contribution. Also, I'll add your name to the "Funded By" section of the credits. And also, I'll mail you a postcard (you'll have to trust me with your address). Not just any postcard, but a fine art, limited edition, archival, signed by the artist, real-deal, it-should-be-in-a-museum-or-at-least-a-frame postcard.
Pledge $10 or more
A personal thank you and two coloring books. I will email you personally and thank you for your contribution. Also, I'll add your name to the "Funded By" section of the credits. And also, I'll mail you a copy of "The Boys and Girls Guide to Nuclear Energy" and "The Boys and Girls Guide to Fossil Fuels" two 'zines I made, part of "The Boys and Girls Guide to the Energy Crisis," that are coloring books that teach kids about the pros and cons about the different types of energy we burn. Or if you want 2 post cards, that's cool too.
Pledge $20 or more
A personal thank you and a limited edition silk screen. I will email you personally and thank you for your contribution. Also, I'll add your name to the "Funded By" section of the credits. And also, I'll send you a limited edition screen print- limited to one per everyone that contributed $20 or more (and one for me to keep). It won't be huge so you won't have to spend a lot of money to frame it, but it will be so awesome you will want to tattoo it on your body a couple of times. So cool I don't even know what it is yet. Or you can opt for two postcards and the two zines, or four zines, or 4 postcards, or whatever combo you really want.
Pledge $50 or more
A personal thank you and a limited edition relief print (they're harder to print than silkscreens and I spend a lot more time making them). I will email you personally and thank you for your contribution. Also, I'll add your name to the "Funded By" section of the credits. And also, I'll send you a limited edition relief print- limited to one per everyone that contributed $50 or more (and one for me to keep). Again, It won't be huge so you won't have to spend a lot of money to frame it, but again, it will be so awesome you will want to tattoo it on your body a couple of times. Again, so cool I don't even know what it is yet. And again, if you'd prefer to exchange your relief print for any other combination of rewards that equals the $50 level, thats cool too. I can wheel and deal.
Pledge $100 or more
A personal thank you, a post card, two zines, a silk screen, a relief print, and, gosh, I don't know... I'll promise to pledge $15 to your kickstarter project. How's that sound? A little counter productive, but the way I see it, If I get the money I need to start this project, I'm going to get so rich and famous its going to be ridiculous, so by then I'll have the money to pledge to your project.
Pledge $200 or more
You've finally made it to the map level! If you are so freaking generous that you're willing to donate $200 to little ol' me trying to make this crazy cooky project, when I'm finally done, I will mail you a copy of two maps, one from the "bad" or "real" side, and one from the "good" or "fantasy" side. Believe me, it will be worth it. Whether or not these posters will change the world, I cannot say, but what I do know is that they will be fantastic maps and fantastic works of art. FANTASTIC. They will belong in museums and libraries across the globe. 100 years from now, your grandkids will take these maps onto Antiques Roadshow and the appraiser is going to practically faint and say, "How did you ever get these?! These are original Julia Samuels's, first run, limited edition, printed and signed by the artist herself, the most notorious work of her entire career, (blah blah blah)" For real. Just imagine it. A story for the ages...
Pledge $1,000 or more
Wow, you're making me blush. You must be really rich (or crazy), and you're obviously very generous, and I don't really know how to repay you. Certainly I'll send you some sets of maps. Certainly I'll send you a screen print and a postcard and all that other junk. All I can think of right now is Homer Simpson saying "I'll sell my soul for a doughnut!" I'm not going to sell you my soul. But I will be eternally grateful. And I'll put your name at the top of the list in "Funded By" section of the credits, in bold.