03 April 2017

When Cognitive Mapping and Life Histories Meet

Anthropologists use life histories as a means to shed light on larger systems through the eyes of one individual, over time. Atlas Obscura author Lauren Young recently reminded readers of Michael Druks work, called Druksland. This portrait captures Druks' life story through cartography.
Detail of <em>Druksland</em>, Michael Druks cartographic self-portrait.

Young writes: Outlining the shape of his head, Druks’ conceptual map incorporates features you would see on a topographical map, including coordinates, bodies of water, and a map legend. Yet the map also serves as an unconventional self-portrait, the coordinates corresponding to major life events, significant people, and important institutions. Druks shows how the contours of a face could be a more complex terrain than any geology on Earth.

This is an interesting example of a medium where cognitive mapping and life histories may meet.