Jan Estep, Beneath the surface (of language), Silver Island Mountain Byway, Wendover, Utah, USA, four-color offset print, illustrated folded sheet map, 2009.
 Beneath the surface (of language), Silver Island Mountain Byway, Wendover, Utah, USA is the second of four National-Geographic-style illustrated print maps produced between 2007 and 2013. This map plots the named backcountry byway that lies just northeast of the Utah/Nevada border along Interstate 80, located in the Great Salt Lake Desert. It explores the various land uses of the area, and the way we use language to name our experience. The map was researched during an artist residency at the Center for Land Use Interpretation’s (CLUI) Wendover facilities. As a site-specific, poetic-sculptural intervention, an essay written during my extended stay in Wendover was written out by hand, divided into sections, and buried back into the land along the route. The essay examines the relationship between language and the natural world, and comments on rock graffiti found along I-80, conceptual land art of the 1970s, linguistic reference, and the possibility of an embodied writing. The sections of text are put back into the landscape in homage to Nancy Holt’s “Buried Poems” (1969-71) and John Baldessari’s California Map Project (1969). The printed map documents the locations and also includes a reprint of the original essay, topographical illustrations, and photographs of the byway and local rock graffiti.
Beneath the surface (of language), Silver Island Mountain Byway, Wendover, Utah, USA is available at CLUI’s Los Angeles and Wendover locations, and at Printed Matter in New York. In exhibition the maps are unfolded and stacked on a low pedestal, given freely to gallery visitors.