Vertical Atlas

A new atlas to help us navigate the digital geopolitics of the world today.


The digital reality we find ourselves in is increasingly complex. Geographical maps only yield limited agency as tools for navigating this reality. They do not account for new folded, fractal borders that are created in cyberspace and do not show how national digital borders materialize at odd places in the world such as cobalt mines in Congo, that are owned by Chinese state run companies, or Amazon-owned cloud servers located in Singapore. At the same time, states are increasingly morphing into non-local platforms (like-E-stonia) and cloud platforms themselves are taking over traditional roles of the state, such as cartography (Google) and identification (Facebook, Google). If maps are tools to aid in navigation, new kinds of mappings are needed. These mappings must account for current global techno-political realities as well as alternative technological and cultural histories, they must explore multiple perspectives that embrace different meanings in different zones of the world. Vertical Atlas emphasizes the need for alternative and accessible contemporary mappings. Humans require relatable interfaces that trigger more than only their cognitive capacities. Here, the merging of language, art and design can provide us with approaches and leads that aim to achieve just that.


Fundraising & Project Management



New Silk Roads was responsible for the fundraising and project management for the realization of Vertical Atlas, a publication that changes the ways in which the geopolitics of technology are discussed today. The Atlas is being made by a group of over 50 international designers, artists and thinkers from a broad range of disciplines spanning over 20 countries across continents.