Casey Gardner
Set in Motion Press

Cartographical Incantations

Some journeys require reflection

A book of cartographical unfoldings, tessellated map fragments, and beasts of the imagination. Pages open to reflected images of historical map details from the Dutch Age of Discovery.  Turn the book over, and the patterns become more complex, abstracting the repetition and reflection many journeys entail. Text includes wayfarer invocations and wayfinding instructions, with mapmaking histories relating to a time when the unknown could be imbued with magical qualities. 

Also included is a traveller’s tale of chance and choice.  The story begins with a door opening and continues to hinge on the word perhaps relating the either/or possibilities that occur and move back and forth on journeys. A forgotten map presents the traveller with options at various crossroads while venturing forth into unpredictable landscapes. 

Each folio opens to a tableau of a map fragment joined in reverse symmetry, as if the landscape has more to reveal upon reflection, or mirrors a traveller’s aspirations in a quest.  On the reverse side of the accordion, these map images are conjured into rhythmic patterns reflecting the repetition of each step in a journey and the variables that form the spell of discovery that entices us into new horizons and lands. Rituals and motifs of movement and boundaries occur in every venture into any landscape, and yet the unique contours and borders are for each traveller to discover and cross.

Each folio includes a Wayfarer Invocation, a poetic directive for finding one’s way, or one’s place in the world. We hope for guidance, exterior or interior, and question whether to take this path or that, to follow a map or strike out in faith. Going forth in any journey is an opportunity for an entrancing and spellbinding venture of options chosen to reflect our exploratory desires.

Map fragments are from photographs taken by the artist of sixteenth and seventeenth-century Dutch maps found in atlases at the Public Library of Amsterdam, Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam.


Description: Letterpress and digitally printed. Double-sided accordion with sewn folios. 

Materials: Hahnemuhle Ingres and Nepalese Lokta silkscreened paper, Linen binding thread

Edition size 25; price: $750; completed: April, 2015.  This book is sold out.

Dimensions closed:   6.5” x   10”; dimensions open:   13”  x10”