Thursday, December 1, 2016

About those 1" square collage pieces

In my journal for 5.5.14 I wrote: "Switching to all 1" squares of collage (even Void and other dimensions)." I realized at the time that this was a huge undertaking. I calculated that to essentially pixelate the entire Map would require about 240,000 of the inch square collage pieces.

I did a spot check of my progress the other day. What I found was that the Map has been about 11.67% covered by the squares. This means that about 32,000 squares have been added. At the Map's current size 242,000 more squares are needed. I'd better get back to work! 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Journal update

Today I'd like to share a page from the map's journal.

It's place where I can log the daily changes that the map undergoes as well as serve as a palette to test and mix different colors for the next day's panel. Like much of how the map is generated, the paint colors are picked systematically so that it changes which each iteration.

On another note, the map has returned safely from Aichi, Japan and now parts of it are headed to the Union Art Gallery at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. It will be a part of the Microcosms: The Imagined Realities of Art exhibition from November 18th through December 9th.

If you'd like to support the map, its updates, and its continued travels, see the Map ebay listings to check out what prints/originals/postcards are currently available. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Map Statistics!

For anyone out there who's curious about the size of the current map, here are some statistics I can share as of November 6, 2016:

  • Currently the map is composed of 3428 panels.
  • If all the panels are put together, it would be 48 feet wide by 52.5 feet tall.
  • The population of the map: 17,347,199
  • The number of voids: 73 
  • The void population: 13,600
  • The number of red dimensions: 7
  • The number of parishes: 36
  • The total number of cities: 509
  • The most populated city is Ukrainia with a population of 2,494,897.

Monday, October 31, 2016

A couple of reminders

Jerry's Map has an open invitation to other artists to contribute "guest" panels (like the one above donated by Meg Staley) to the Map. Any two-dimensional 8 by 10 inch image is welcome. The artist gives me permission to modify the image over time as I meld it with the body of the Map. The image is also photocopied onto label paper and collaged onto other parts of the Map. It's a great way to participate vicariously in international shows since guest panels travel with the rest of the Map! So, contact me! Send me some of your work!

My second reminder is to take a look at the offerings on Ebay and to start collecting my Map. The prices are very reasonable, and who knows where they will be in the future? You may be getting in on the ground floor of a great investment. And if that doesn't happen you will still take comfort in knowing that you own a piece of this unique art project!


Monday, October 17, 2016

First incursion of Black Ness!

October 17, 2016 will go down in Jerry's Map history as the date of the first occurence of Black Ness. Those of you who have been following the Map's progress know that the next higher Map dimension was projected to be Black Ness. The card drawn today indicated the next higher dimension for panel N6/W15. Red Dimension 2 had already superceded The Void on that panel. So, Black Ness 1 was next. The incursion spread to the neighboring three panels to the Northeast as well.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

The message

If you are able to connect all those snippets of inscription that are scattered throughout my Map you will know the story of my life. I have been cutting up and collaging in pieces of my journal as well as old letters. Let me know what you discover!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Twitter, anyone?

Are you following @jerrysmap on Twitter? Every day (that I am in the studio) I post the first panel I have worked on during that session. The panel shown above was today's pick, S26/W16.

Take a look!

Saturday, August 27, 2016


I am really tired of people telling me I NEED to be on Instagram. Or Snapchat. Or whatever app or device might come next to turn some 20-something into a billionaire.

The tools you see above are my standbys. It's not as though I systematically resist all technology. When people around me suggest something I usually try it, and, if it suits me, I adopt it. I was introduced to Twitter a year or so ago, and I loved it. It gives me all the visual feast I crave and exposes me to things I've never seen. When someone tells me on Twitter that they just posted something on Instagram it annoys me. I'd like to see their photo, but I don't want to take the time to hit the link and then return to Twitter. So, I usually ignore those posts,

And I don't want to "do" Instagram because I don't want to get a smartphone and be part of that commercial ratrace or to pretend to be listening to the live person next to me while texting something that doesn't really need to be said to someone I don't really know all that well. I refuse to buy into the obsoletism to which the marketing community has seemed to have made us addicted. People waiting in line for the next series of I-Phone and all that.....

Monday, August 15, 2016

Greetings from Nagoya

Here I am on opening day with the Artistic Director of the Aichi Triennale, Chihiro Minato. The Map installation was beautiful, and the opening turnout was great.

Today is my last full day in Japan. This has been an enlightening and visually stimulating trip for me. I am very greatful to the Triennale staff who have been so attentive to our every need. Yoshiko Nawa, especially, has had the patience of a saint, and we thank her deeply.

It's sad to feel this saga coming to a close, but I sense that fragments of this trip will live on in the Map and that I will be back one day.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Aichi Triennale less than a week away!

The Aichi Triennale in Nagoya, Japan opens on August 11 and runs through October 22. The wall installation of Jerry's Map was completed by the professional installers yesterday. Today they expect to finish the floor portion. For details see

I will be on hand on the 11th to answer questions and on the 12th to sign posters, prints and postcards.

I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Jerry's Map at the Aichi Triennale

If you've been following the blog and the twitter feed you might be aware that Jerry's Map will be exhibited soon in Nagoya, Japan as a part of the Aichi Triennele. The exhibition will be open to the public on August 11, 2016.

As an added treat, the map will be displayed on the cover of the offical guidebook! If you'd like to pick up a copy and you're in the area, the official guide book publication commemoration event will be in Daikanyama, Tokyo on July 16, 2016.

For more information about the Triennale you can visit their website at

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Like Kickstarter!

Think of my listings on Ebay as a sort of home-made Kickstarter campaign. The print shown above, for example, is currently listed on Ebay at $13.61. That's like a gift for a donation of less than $20. There are original panels, too, often for under $100. And, for a $500 contribution, you can get an all-original first generation Map panel. 

Making this Map and showing it costs money, and we rely on you to help defray those costs.

Thanks for your help!

Sunday, May 15, 2016


The term "outsider art" is a little worn out. Even the insiders acknowledge this. But the distinctions are still made- mostly in Manhattan and Basel galleries and auction rooms. The insiders are those whose work patrons are willing to bet their wallets on to increase in value over time. "Naive" seems be an appropriate way of describing many outsiders. But then it could be applied to some of the insidest artists, too. Look at many of David Hockney's paintings. Maybe they only look naive to an outsider, and an insider could explain their sophistication. For me the terms "accidental" and "intentional" have broader application. Certainly much of what is in the American Folkart Museum or the Museum of Everything was not intended by its maker to be fine art. And certainly most of what is created by people with MFAs or who are exhibited in major museums or galleries is intended to be labeled "art."

Inside or outside, I am happy just to be making my Map. I hope that viewers get some pleasure from it, too.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Invite me!

The show coming up later this year in Japan will be a big one. The Map installation there will be the biggest one since the Palais de Tokyo in Paris last year. The display above, from ArtPrize 1 in Grand Rapids in 2009, was small in comparison. The Aichi Triennale in Nagoya opens to the public on August 11 and closes on October 22.

After that I will be looking for a new host for my project. Know any curators? Contemporary museums with high walls (25 feet, at least)? Or big open floor spaces which can be viewed from above?

I really have my sights set on that five-story high North wall of the atrium at MOMA in New York, but they haven't invited me yet.

On the more down-to-earth end of my fantasies would be a high school gym in some small town in the Plains. With a little help from the students we could mount the entire Map in about three days. And it could be de-installed in time for Saturday's game. Just a thought....

Meantime go buy something on Ebay. I don't need it to pay the rent, but it helps defray the not insignificant cost of creating this thing. And it's a cheap way for you to start your art collection. Imagine your grandkids taking a panel to Antiques Road Show forty years from now!



Monday, April 11, 2016

The colors and rules journal

Every morning when I remix a color I record the change in a master journal (shown above). I also record all major rule changes in that book. I rarely look back at the changes, but putting them down on paper helps to cement them in my memory. Major changes are only made when I am anxious to try a new technique or when an old one doesn't seem to be producing the results I want.

I started using the book in 2003 after I resumed work on the Map. The first entry, dated 11/5/03, read, "Finished sheets will no longer be copied onto labels. Gen II water sheets will be painted rather than collaged w/label."

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Map Tweets

Every morning when I start work in the studio I draw a card. The 23 above was the first card I turned over today. It directed me, 23 places down the current stack of panels, to the one shown above, S5/W12. Both the card and the panel were posted on Twitter.

Both of the instructions on the card were disregarded  as inapplicable. There were not yet 9 collaged squares on that panel. So, a new airlane was not created. And, since the entire sheet had already been painted the "paint as previous" instruction did not apply.

What I did do was to collage 23 squares to match, as closely as possible, the underlying colors. I worked counter-clockwise since the card was a red suit. I started at the crosshairs of the sheet. When I reached the lower right corner I ran into collage work that had been done previously. That meant that I had to continue on the next sheet down, S6/W12. The final two squares were collaged on that sheet (not shown). 

I finished work on this panel by drawing in the parrallelogram  centered on the crosshairs and putting Map dates on a few of the squares.


Saturday, March 26, 2016


The first reminder is for you to check on Jerry's Ebay listings. There are currently some fantastic bargains. The original panel above, for example, was just re-listed at $111! It originally was listed at over $200. And there are prints, postcards, and JPEGs available starting at just over a dollar!

When you buy items off Ebay you own a piece of this life-long, monumental project. AND you help pay for the substantial costs of continuing Jerry's work. We thank you in advance!

The next reminder is to follow Jerry on Twitter (@jerrysmap). He posts the first card he draws each morning that he is in the studio. He then posts the panel that that card led him to and, later in the day, shows the changes made to that panel. It's a great way to begin to understand the process he uses.

The last reminder is to take a look at the jerrymapping subreddit. It's fun!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


Since the 1980s I have been dressing randomly. After deciding what type of clothes I need- casual or dressy, hot weather or cold- I pull the next appropriate items from the rotation in my closet and put them on. This has always resulted in interesting combos, sometimes brilliant, sometimes embarrassing.

About a year ago I modified that system. I now dress entirely in patterned clothing during odd numbered months and solids in even months. Understand? More weird combos. It makes dressing an adventure just the way the randomizing of the Map-making makes it exciting.

Try it!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


Meg and I got back to the farm yesterday after an exhilarating ten day trip to the True/False Film Festival in Columbia, Missouri. A fairly sizable chunk of the Map was on display in Uprise Bakery there, and on March 1 the Jerry's Map video was shown, and I participated in a Q and A with Joel Sager, the curator.

The Festival itself ran from Thursday through Sunday the 6th. We saw great films and hung out with wonderful people. For all this we want to thank, in particular, Paul, Camellia, Johanna, Joel, Luci, Wil, Joe, Brian, and our new friends from Lille: Roman, Arthur, Thomas, and Pierre!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Upcoming shows

Here's a reminder of where to see Jerry's Map:

The UICA show in Grand Rapids is big and beautiful and is up until February 28. For more info see

I will be in Columbia, Missouri for the True/False film festival at the beginning of March. I'm showing the video and giving a talk on March 1. A nice chunk of the Map will also be on display. Check out after February 12 for more details.

The Aichi Triennale in Nagoya, Japan will feature a very large installation of the Map. It opens in mid-August of this year. Info is at

In the meantime we have more listings than ever on Ebay. Support the continued production and display of Jerry's Map by buying them. Thanks!