Whilst the map and the territory relationship is typically understood in opposition to one another, Micromegas collapse this dichotomy. Reading Micromegas, we were all the time writing it too – as a tool to explore unknown territory, to question and critique it, and ultimately to create our own version of it. To write, to draw, to author, is not to represent but to make.
This leads to the question of whether anything exists outside of it’s own representation, or whether that is even relevant. If, in the case of Micromegas, what is significant is not the territory that the map derives from, but the territory it allows me to create, then who cares what the reality of the representation is. Just as in Calvino’s Invisible Cities, the Khan only knows about the various cities in his empire through the stories Marco Polo tells him and it does not matter whether those cities are “real” or exist in any sense outside Marco Polo’s imagination.
Similarly, with Micromegas, we do not read with the drawings to discover Libeskind’s intent. In any case, this is irrelevant and the notion of reading strips us, as architects, of our own freedom, reduces us to the passive role of the ‘reader’. Instead, they really are in a sense the aftermath of an explosion, pieces of architecture thrown at us so that we write our own story with them. We navigate through them by authoring our own territories, by transforming them into something they were never intended to be.