Descart is an alternative art route, containing seven artworks around the city centre of Rotterdam. The artworks are not actually placed but give the impression that they exist. Descart wants to encourage people to visit these works both physically as well as digitally.
By visiting the —lack of— art piece, a claim is made to the imagination of the visitors. It encourages us to think about the relationship between the physical and digital world. To what extent can these two realities coincide and what influence do they have on the perception of the environment? A moment of confusion arises whether the image they see is the real work of art, or whether the work of art is actually the image.
The making of maps and the localization of ourselves is a concept that has occupied us for a long time. In the 6th century BC, we managed to capture our environment through simple drawings and cuneiform script. Subsequently, a significant step forward was made in the 16th century by the availability of new measuring equipment that enabled us to put the world on the map for the most part.
Nowadays, we no longer use physical maps or atlasses, but Google Maps, a commercialized map on the world wide web where cartographers are no longer in charge, but we are ourselves.
The name ‘Descart’ is a degeneration of philosopher and mathematician René Descartes and can be freely translated as “maps”. He came up with the Cartesian coordinate system, which is a coordinate system that specifies each point uniquely in a plane by a set of numerical coordinates. Nowadays, Google Maps uses these coordinates to pinpoint exact locations in the world.