[NetBehaviour] Cartographies of Time

marc garrett marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Sat Feb 27 12:24:57 CET 2010

Cartographies of Time

A history of the Timeline...

Image - 

Daniel Rosenberg , Anthony Grafton

ISBN 9781568987637
8.5 x 10.5 inches (21.6 x 26.7 cm), Hardcover , 272 pages
268 color illustrations ; 40 b/w illustrations
Available (publication date 5/1/2010) Rights: World;

 From the most ancient images to the contemporary, the line has served 
as the central figure in the representation of time. The linear metaphor 
is ubiquitous in everyday visual representations of time—in almanacs, 
calendars, charts, and graphs of all sorts. Even our everyday speech is 
filled with talk of time having a "before" and an "after" or being 
"long" and "short." The timeline is such a familiar part of our mental 
furniture that it is sometimes hard to remember that we invented it in 
the first place. And yet, in its modern form, the timeline is not even 
250 years old. The story of what came before has never been fully told, 
until now.

Cartographies of Time is the first comprehensive history of graphic 
representations of time in Europe and the United States from 1450 to the 
present. Authors Daniel Rosenberg and Anthony Grafton have crafted a 
lively history featuring fanciful characters and unexpected twists and 
turns. From medieval manuscripts to websites, Cartographies of Time 
features a wide variety of timelines that in their own unique 
ways—curving, crossing, branching—defy conventional thinking about the 
form. A fifty-four-foot-long timeline from 1753 is mounted on a scroll 
and encased in a protective box. Another timeline uses the different 
parts of the human body to show the genealogies of Jesus Christ and the 
rulers of Saxony. Ladders created by missionaries in eighteenth-century 
Oregon illustrate Bible stories in a vertical format to convert Native 
Americans. Also included is the April 1912 Marconi North Atlantic 
Communication chart, which tracked ships, including the Titanic, at 
points in time rather than by their geographic location, alongside 
little-known works by famous figures, including a historical chronology 
by the mapmaker Gerardus Mercator and a chronological board game 
patented by Mark Twain. Presented in a lavishly illustrated edition, 
Cartographies of Time is a revelation to anyone interested in the role 
visual forms have played in our evolving conception of history.


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