Mapping is a big deal in the land of Google and Yahoo, which might be what sparked the new show at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, “Demarcate: Territorial Shift in Personal and Societal Mapping” (through the end of May). Of course, this being the ICA, we’re not talking a sleepy collection of antique globes and dusty atlases, but an intense, and occasionally out there, investigation on paper, in sculpture, and via video by 14 artists of how geography and topography define us. (Notice all the talk of borders and building fences in the current political arena? Something’s in the air.) That translates into, for instance, a wildly discombobulated and colorful array of the states and their capitals, as reassigned by Hayward-based artist Lordy Rodriguez. Or into Nikki Rosato’s three-dimensional self portrait, which the Massachusetts artist assembled out of wires and a cut-up Boston road map. Talk about arterial traffic.
Lordy Rodriguez, America (Key Map of States and their Capitols) from the America Series, 2006, Ink on paper, Courtesy of the Artist and Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco
Nikki Rosato, Untitled (Self-Portrait), 2013, Hand-cut road map, 16 x 16 x 14″, Courtesy of the Artist and Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans, LA