The Map Is Not The Territoire


Starting with LAKE LEE i went into a deep dive into cartography aesthetics, I’ve been obsessed in the way things were simplified and the various techniques to render 3 dimensional information on a 2 dimensional plane. Which brings me to contour lines, for a moment i had the idea of making a theremin, which antenna would have been formed by copper contour lines taken from a map drawing.

                              Eduard Imhof’s Chomolongma* map, as can be found on the Swiss                                     Atlas, was my go to drawing for making it. After some research though                              i realised theremin circuits require some hard to find parts such as                                 variable inductors (really hard to find!). A research showed                                      alternative circuits with variable capacitors, an easier part to find.                                Although the existence of motion and proximity sensors made me                                        realise how come there weren’t many analog alternatives to these                                   two circuits. So i kinda let this thing on the side, till I get                                     better into coding.         

                                                                   *Mt. Everest


                               But since I really wanted to go forward with the idea of using                                      actual contour lines on a design and wanted to revise LAKE LEE, I                                 went for a new matrix mixer design ( I really like matrixes! )                                   which could be sold to the public.



                               There were few things i wanted to change :






                         I wanted to make it look more like a combination of a game board and a                            map,   and I wanted something grid-like shape, which in a way recalled for                        me both the grid divisions you find on a map AND the game of go grid too (




I found on the internet a beautiful website which

gives you contour lines renderings of EVERY PLACE IN

THE WORLD in .svg format ( what do you want more from

life? ) .

So after spending some time scanning the best places

in the world for contour lines I found out a sweet


This spot will be our play area.




I wasn’t happy with the passive design, so I went for a fully buffered (both ins and outs) matrix design, which is quite simple to implement, as I did on the Instruo lìon matrix design i decided to normalise each outs to the next one from left to right ( with a pattern of inverted-noninverted ) . This means that if you know how to read your map you can have your signal phase inverted! 

In terms of power, I didn't want to have to worry about finding a power supply which i’ll needed to supply with the instrument, so I went for what you can find in almost every home in the civilized world, USB . This thanks to a cincon DC-DC power converter, which takes 5v in and puts out + and -12v ( oh yes i didn’t told you, it works up to modular levels! ) .


I wanted a nice clean black steel enclosure enclosure too,

which has been designed by a dear friend ( Andrea Rossi ),

and which I’ve got made in china

( as almost all the the things I get made ) .

On the works some really nice

looking mexican bocote wood sidecheeks .



Eduard Imhof -

contour axis website -

Alfred Korzybski -

Andrea Rossi ( the 3d modeling guy ) -

gold v1_2 [matrix].BMP
gold v1_2 [contours_lao_cont].BMP
gold v1_2 [contours_lao_cont].BMP