Lize Mogel
Area of Detail, 2008/2010
Rotating map, UN emblem, vinyl lettering, archive of diplomatic correspondance | 17' x 32'

The translation of the spherical world onto the flat plane of a map is a mathematical problem; the translation of the political world into a map is an ideological problem. How does one represent the world in a way that does not show dominance? Something or someone is always on the top or at the center.

The United Nations emblem is a world map centered on the North Pole. The continents are not divided by national boundaries, thus geopolitical relationships are not pictured. This map is purely symbolic, representing nations united under common interests, all parts considered equal. 

What is at the center of the UN emblem? A blank spot that belies the geopolitical realities of the area. This area of detail, the ice-bound ocean of the Arctic Circle, is regulated by the UN through the Law of the Sea which sets how nations define and exploit their territorial boundaries. As the climate warms and ice recedes, new possibilities for commerce and capital become possible. This center of the World is becoming a focal point in other ways, as surrounding nations look to claim territory in order to develop new energy resources and commercial routes.

> Artic Perspectives–Third Culture | 6.18.10-10.10.10 | Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund Germany
> a most dangerous manner | 1.29.10-3.26.10 | SPACES Gallery, Cleveland OH
> Area of Detail | 4.6.08-5.23.08 | common room2, NYC 
> The World is Flat | 4.26.08-6.15.08| Overgaden Institute of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen DK &
    | 3.21.09-5.2.09 | Center for Contemporary Art, Lagos Nigeria (printed map only)