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.
Bending Lines was exhibited in-person at the Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library from September 2021 through March 2022. The digital exhibition remains available for permanent use. Learn more about current exhibitions at the Leventhal Center.