While the ocean means something different to everyone, for most of us it is still an “other” a world that is apart from ours. The way that standard maps have been projected and created contributes to this, as the land mass, in the foreground, is framed by a broken apart and fractured light blue, the seven seas, whose interconnectedness and huge huge size gets lost.
Spilhaus, a South African, who lived at the beginning of the 20th century, first confronted this view of the world by creating a different kind of projection, one, where the oceans are in the foreground and form a clear unity, centered around antarctica. I wanted to celebrate the ocean in that way this year, with this map (the template of which is not a “pure” Spilhaus projection, but a mergence with the Hammer projection).
I tried to include a few aspects that have influenced the way the ocean is seen culturally and scientifically, from its fierce personification in the Greek god Poseidon to more modern protectors and avengers of the marine world, Captain Nemo in his Nautilus and Moby Dick. The corners represent the four main biomes of the ocean, the intertidal, the open sea, the abyss and the benthic habitats. Then, there are the two forces that hold it all together and keep the circulation going, here given as two ladies, the thermo- and the pycnocline.
The ocean has been a part of us since the beginning of mankind, and its important that we, sometimes, step out of our anthrop-centered world view, and see the world as the blue planet that it is.
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