I have just made two plan drawings in chalk, using GPS. A large one
in Bethnal Green, London (about 1 km wide - almost gone) and a
very small one (only two lines - maybe still there ;-)) in Riga. Both
seemed to have similar impact on people despite an extreme
difference in scale, scope, and experience for the viewer.
I talked briefly about some of these ideas in the presentation last
week at Ram5 in Riga.
The drawings made me think as I was doing them, and think again
after I saw them completed.
I thought of them within the realms of 'conceptual architecture' rather
than conceptual art practice, an exploration of functional, future
signage and the manifestation of invisible signals. Physical signage
for the invisible.
The drawings became, for me, a mechanism for thinking about
place and self, the body and landscape, and art: Canaletto, Richard
Long, Robert Smithson, Andy Goldsworthy, Beuys, Monet, Christo,
Claude Lorrain and so on... [Locative?] These artists dealt with
locations and sites – marking, with temporary gestures or
permanent records, small or large 'events', or records of their time in
The current additional technological component which serves to
extend many concepts already explored in practice and theory by
artists (and obviously architects) for centuries, is mainly one of
precision (gps accuracy arguments aside), and in turn the ability to
revisit and mark any locations, particularly indistinct ones, with the
intent to repeat, communicate, or adapt an augmented experience at
a specific place, either on a permanent, temporary or even fluid
basis. This makes the addition of this technology a distinct
conceptual shift, as it introduces the considerations of 'function' and
'user' to locations.
In Riga at Ram5, as part of Wilfried Hou Je Bek's psychogeographic
.walk, an' ting, he demanded we wrote poetry for him. I chalked my
own walk with long/lat figures making and notating observations. I
globally positioned the shadow of a cherry tree in blossom [ N 56 56
648/E 024 06 646], chalking the coordinates on the floor inside the
tree shadow, and writing the time from my GPS clock beside it. Then
I wrote a haiku poem about it.
White cherry blossom
Makes a shadow on the ground
Birds sing from inside.
'location, location, location'
at EVENTNETWORK, 96 TEESDALE STREET, LONDON E2 6PU.
020 7613 0300
Exhibition closes Sunday16th May 2004
with GPS and Stickers afternoon workshop (children+adults)
http://locative.x-i.net (list archive: + /archive/ )