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Redefining the Grid 

Wednesday, Oct 19 2011
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Thanks to advances in technology (hello Google), the definition of "map" has evolved oh so radically in the past decade. Not surprisingly, visual artists are utilizing these high-tech tools to reconfigure cartography, and the result -- at least in this exhibit, "Here Be Dragons: Mapping Information and Imagination" -- is almost orgasmically delightful. Exhibit A: The Magic Story Table by JD Beltran and Scott Minneman, who purpose an interactive globe with audio stories from everyday people. Spin the table, zero in from space to the edges of a neighborhood, and listen in as men and women spin yarns about money, school and other central issues. There's nothing quite like it. Still, it's a low-tech map that steals this exhibit: Wendy MacNaughton's Around Here, which incorporates her hand-drawn street grid, renderings of people, and excerpts of conversations to lay out the S.F. scene along Mission between Fifth and Sixth streets. The stories of low-income residents and high-end shoppers bring a new visual context to the social and economic chasm that exists in a one-block radius. Haves and have-nots -- so close together and yet so far away.
Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: Oct. 21. Continues through Jan. 14, 2011

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Jonathan Curiel

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