Bending Lines: Maps and Data from Distortion to Deception

Leventhal Map & Education Center

Because they seem to show the world how it “really is,” maps produce a powerful sense of trust and belief. But maps and data visualizations can never communicate a truth without any perspective at all. They are social objects whose meaning and power are produced by written and symbolic language and whose authority is determined by the institutions and contexts in which they circulate. This exhibition by the Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library examines the many ways in which maps and data can bend the lines of reality.

The physical exhibition of Bending Lines was planned for display in May 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Boston Public Library buildings are currently closed. This digital exhibition features interactive material and additional content specially designed for an online experience. Bending Lines is a yearlong initiative, and this digital exhibition will grow with new content as well as virtual activities. We look forward to welcoming visitors to the Map Center gallery at a future date; visit our website, join our mailing list, or follow us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter for updates. See the events page for a calendar of live talks and workshops.