Territory is a literary project about territories and the maps that will always fail to capture them. It’s about the naive dream of objectivity, and how we use the act of representation to both hide and broadcast our subjectivities.
The map has a specific allure. It reduces the complexity of the world to a manageable space, and suggests distant lands are not so distant. In this miniaturized space, it’s easy to envision an entire world. Perhaps too easy—maps often destroy through their creation. They are a barbaric art, or an art used for politics and propaganda.
This is why maps are instruments of both progress and regress. They inspire and enable discovery, but also conquest and colonization. They tell some histories while denying others. They both reveal and conceal the spaces they circumscribe. The map is not the territory, surely, but then why is our world built on so many getting this so wrong?
Territory wants to understand these paradoxes by understanding the maps that inspire them. We invite writers, musicians, and other artists to respond to maps and the fallacies they engender, in turn creating secondary maps. We then present these two maps side-by-side as a means of getting at, but still failing to capture, the underlying territory. We are building an atlas knowing it will be a reduction, an anachronism, a distortion. But we build it anyway.