Covers for Others was made in response to a brief asking us to, using any medium, create a map that illustrates an unknown aspect of Oslo.
Covers for Others is a digital map exploring sites in Oslo that have materialized a version of Foucault’s concept of “heterotopia”. Specifically, the map is inspired by Marxist geographer David Harvey’s interpretation of the heterotopia as a space that allows “the other” to flourish, and that serves as a juxtaposition against and escape from conformity and homogenity.
I became interested in identifying these spaces within picturesque Oslo. Throughout my research, I had the sensation of discovering enclosed worlds that are hidden in plain sight. I wanted to create a map that could reveal these visible yet unseen spaces. Are these spaces and the diversity they enable a public good?
With Covers for Others, visitors select a site from the home page. From there, they see a glitch effect. Hovering on the glitch effect reveals information about the site. By erasing the city’s more widely known landmarks, Covers for Others aims to direct the viewer’s attention to a different element of Oslo. As they explore, visitors will discover that many of the spaces have been closed due to urban development.
Covers for Others is an outsider's perspective on a city. It provides examples of heterotopias, and is by no means complete. Primarily, it aims to bring these spaces to the fore, and offer different material with which to construct Oslo’s identity. It is also an exploration of the affordances and limitations of interactive mapping to communicate overlapping realities and create an element of discovery. Visit the map here.