"One of the things I've always loved about books is their ability to map the world in new ways, creating paths through the familiar that render our ordinary journeys strange, revelatory, or beautiful. Especially on days when the world seems like a patch of flaming pumpkins. Or a paper route, charted through space and time. Everything Sings gives you the landscape of a neighborhood by focusing on the qualities that would otherwise have been peripheral. These days I mostly use maps online, instantly plotting routes from A to B with no time or attention given to what's in between. But what separates us from machines is our ability to be charmed; there is a kind of loneliness in these details that Google is unaware of. Wood's is the kind of loneliness I'll willingly get lost in, even though—or maybe because—none of his maps will show me the quickest route home. Which is fine, thanks to my GPS." —Craig H. & Margaret B.
Denis Wood has created an atlas unlike any other. From mapping radio waves permeating the air to Halloween pumpkins on porches, Wood's joyful subversion of the traditional notions of mapmaking forge new ways of seeing not only the particular, but also the very nature of place itself. Surveying his century-old, half-square mile neighborhood Boylan Heights in Raleigh, North Carolina, Wood searches for the revelatory details in what has never been mapped or may not even be mappable. In each map, he attunes the eye to the invisible, the overlooked, and the seemingly insignificant. Together, these maps accumulate into a multi-layered story about one neighborhood as well as about the pursuit of understanding the places we call home. This alchemical combination of science and art creates a fascinating tension between the empirical and the elusive, between what one can know and what one can imagine. As much as Everything Sings is a collection of extraordinary maps, it is also a testament to the imaginative capacity of humans to make them.