Maps have power. They can make the illegible legible and the invisible visible. They can make the obvious even more obvious and the impossible seem possible. When Stamen Design mapped the routes of the private buses that ferry techies between their homes in San Francisco and their jobs in Silicon Valley for the 2012 Zero1 Biennial, the aesthetic choice to render the map as a transit-system schematic made an open secret within San Francisco obvious to the world. The city is becoming a suburb of the Silicon Valley suburbs.
My essay that appeared in Boom: A Journal of California's winter 13-14 issue is on Slate.com today as "California is the Future." The original text and photos have been enhanced with a map plotting the locations of future California, by my UCSC Digital Art & New Media colleague Wayne Marci. Check it out!
Touring around California you could be forgiven for thinking you’re living in the future, and not just because of the Silicon Valley wizardry that surrounds us all. We also have to thank Hollywood’s movie magic, which has turned the state into a backdrop for countless science fiction films presenting futures both terrible and wondrous. It’s not just that so many are filmed here—writers and filmmakers have been exploring the future through California sets for decades.