Scanning antique maps with DIY mosaic device for Museo Bikoitza

In July 2021 we have been given a year to work in the archives of the San Telmo Museum in Donostia / San Sebastian, and to produce an artwork that is based on a rereading of its ethnographic collection and display narratives. It is a prestigious commission, in the framework of Museo Bikoitza, a programme initiated by the artist Asier Mendizabal, and which has invited artists such as Ibon Aranberri, Erlea Maneros and Jose Mari Zabala.

For this project we have decided to try to map the museum according to its own collection of antique maps. With the help of Paco Conde Urruzola, responsible for the archive, we have ventured deep into the collection of the museum which is stored in the depot at Gordailua in Irun. One by one, we have carefully extracted and studied all of the maps, which because of their fragile nature, do not generally tend to be on display to the public.

In order to produce an animated journey across these maps, we needed to find a way to digitize the documents in the highest quality possible. To that end, we designed and built a device that moves a photocamera across each sheet of paper, producing hundreds of macro photographs which are later stitched together into a gigantic pixel resolution digital image.