Matthew Cusick is an artist based in Dallax, Texas. He's worked as a painter, but, in recent years, he's been creating these incredible map collages. There's no painting involved -- only the maps themselves, cut into shapes and arranged in layers to create an image. (Be sure to click on the images below to see full-sized reproductions at his site; the detail images are especially amazing!)
In an interview last year at My Modern Met, Cusick explains what drew him to maps as a medium: "Maps have all the properties of a brushstroke: nuance, density, line, movement, and color.... [And] since each map fragment is an index of a specific place and time, I could combine fragments from different maps and construct geographical timelines within my paintings." You can see more images at Cusick website, and you'll be able to see the collages in person at New York's Pavel Zoubok Gallery in September. [Via Kottke.]
Kevin Hartnett is a writer in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His last article for Ideas was about choosing Congress by lottery.
Guest blogger Simon Waxman is Managing Editor of Boston Review and has written for WBUR, Alternet, McSweeney's, Jacobin, and others.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Manus is a writer living in New York City. She has been a book review editor at the Boston Phoenix, and a columnist for The New York Observer and Metro.
Guest blogger Sarah Laskow is a freelance writer and editor in New York City. She edits Smithsonian's SmartNews blog and has contributed to Salon, Good, The American Prospect, Bloomberg News, and other publications.
Guest blogger Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and freelance semiotician. He was the original Brainiac blogger, and is currently editor of the blog HiLobrow, publisher of a series of Radium Age science fiction novels, and co-author/co-editor of several books, including the story collection "Significant Objects" and the kids' field guide to life "Unbored."
Guest blogger Ruth Graham is a freelance journalist in New Hampshire, and a frequent Ideas contributor. She is a former features editor for the New York Sun, and has written for publications including Slate and the Wall Street Journal.
Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.