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Global canvas?

Open your car glove box, pull out a map of your home state or country and start driving. Do you have any idea what masterpiece you might be on the verge of creating? The map is your canvas, your car works as your brush and the Garmin GPS acts as your eyes.


Using the DHL shipping service, Swedish artist Erik Nordenankar brought this global idea to light by orchestrating a 55-day trip across 63 countries. His Web site explains that a sealed case containing a GPS component was sent with specific instructions for its handlers. Nordenankar claimed he created the “biggest drawing in the world” which is also a self-portrait. I was taken in by the video diary of the process.

Seem unbelievable? After numerous blogger comments, Nordenankar’s project was revealed by DHL as a hoax to the UK’s Telegraph newspaper yesterday. DHL agreed to let the artist film inside their warehouse as part of his college project but stipulated that it should go no further. After creating a pretty fascinating Web site, with evidence to support his work including DHL delivery notes and photos of the case, Nordenankar apparently forgot to put up a disclaimer that his GPS case never actually traveled anywhere. (There is now a red disclaimer located at the top of the site.)

As I watched the story unfold, my first clue to the illusion was that the cost must be unbelievable for an emerging artist, let alone a student, to set something like this up. I give credit to Nordenankar for his idea and the realm of possibilities it opens up for both serious and recreational artists. Why not take a GPS device on your next camping trip and see what kind of forest animal your hike can create? I’m game.

The Ballard Fund. © Guillermo Kuitca

Recommended IMA Work of Art:
In the contemporary galleries, on the third level of the IMA, you’ll find a large, orange, mixed media work on canvas by Argentinean Guillermo Kuitca. Entitled “Everything”, 2004, the piece appears to be an abstract blur of lines, cracks and patterns. Upon closer look, a disorienting mix of familiar streets, borders, cities and towns appears, connected in most peculiar ways!

Filed under: Art, Current Events, Musings, Travel

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