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Although the images suggest computer manipulation, collage, montage or nonphotographic processing, Mapping comprises pictures made with an ordinary camera after dark. While the shutter was open, the artist drew characteristic lines with a laser pen by hand on the rocks. The making of each image – the drawing of parallel lines on the mountain face – took about eight minutes. In some of the Mapping pictures, the time-lapse became visible when a slight rotation of the Earth during exposure made a star into a stripe. 

Drawing lines with a laser is an almost literal interpretation of ‘drawing with light’, a subject found in the writings of the pioneers of photography. One such trailblazer, Englishman William Henry Fox Talbot, called his publication with early photographic experiments The Pencil of Nature. ‘Writing with light’ can be traced to the Greek word for photography. In Mapping, Zuijderwijk/Vergouwe make writing with light an artistic ritual, as witnessed by the final photograph in the series. The concentrated and disciplined drawing of lines over the rock face is tender, like a lover’s caress. The exploratory aspect is underlined by Zuijderwijk/Vergouwe’s use of the laser beam on the same rock but from different angles, thus shedding new light on the same surface and helping the viewer to better understand the rock as seen from various vantage points.


Text by Maartje van den Heuvel from the book Mapping

Design by …,staat

Lithography and printing by Lenoirschuring

Text by Maartje van den Heuvel (curator) en Fiona Menzies (geologist)

Language English

Edition of 750 copies of which 100 constitute a special edition that is presented in a box, featuring a numbered and signed art print

The Mapping book is for sale at The BOOK Section of the website.


Size 240x320mm

Number of pages 90

ISBN: 978-90-9031643-7

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