Somehow I ended up at the opening night of the ITINERANT performance art festival on November 12. Earlier in the day I was talking to some guys about some robots, and then all of a sudden everything kind of went hazy, and the next thing I could remember, I was in a place called the Atrium in PS 69, Queens. Or at least that’s what people told me.
I went around asking people if they could help me, because I was feeling kind of lost. Lucky for me I had a blank sketchpad and some pens with me! Remembering that Stanley Brouwn was able to get people to draw him some maps with some very helpful directions on how to get places, I thought I would do something similar, and I asked people to draw me some maps to help me understand where I was, and maybe how I got there and how to get out of there.
A number of people at the opening and on the street outside were nice enough to draw me the maps shown below. Using them, eventually I figured out where I was and how to get home.
The maps show some very helpful information. For instance, one shows that Queens is at the top of everything, and that everything else is south of it.
Several maps show the local street grid, and how to get to the subway as an example of how to get out of there. Some of them also show where Queens is in relation to Manhattan.
One offers a poetic escape: “look up, fish a star, and fly.”
One very helpful map shows where we are in relation to the whole Earth. Bjork is shown to the north, and as the map-maker said, “if you get to Bjork, you’ve gone too far.” Santa Claus is confusingly shown at the South Pole here; perhaps he has recently relocated. Elvis is shown to live on Pluto, Carl Sagan and Tupac share a spot on the Moon, and Noam Chomsky is way out there. I think this is the map that helped me to contextualize myself the most.
The meaning of the final map, “optimistic boy,” is unclear, but perhaps refers to the mapmaker’s pessimistic belief that I would never find my way home. Luckily, I am indeed an optimistic TK, and managed to use the information on all these maps to figure out where I came from, where I was, and where I was going.