“The Biggest Drawing in The World”

Thanks, MM, Intro to GIS

Artists love to innovate and create new mediums with new technology. GPS has provided another opportunity. GPS has enabled artists to discover a new canvas, the Earth. The technology has inspired artists to create the catch phrase: “The GPS is my brush and the world is my canvas.” One individual, Erik Nordenankar, determined to create the largest drawing in the world for his graduation project, in Advertising and Graphic Design at Beckmans College of Design. The artist created a GPS unit, which he placed inside a durable case. He then plotted an extremely detailed navigational course that would trace the picture with connected GPS points, taken at periodic intervals. Erik arranged to have his GPS case shipped around the world by DHL on a detailed journey that would take 55 days.

The resulting image would be comprised of one giant line that was 110 664km long and pass through 6 continents and 62 countries. The canvas would be 40,076,592M by 4,009,153M to produce the largest drawing the world has ever seen. The drawing would be of Erik’s face. This new form of art is known as “Positional Art” and proposed an interesting idea: the globalization of art.

Unfortunately (and unbeknown to many people) Erik’s GPS unit was never shipped around the world because the fees needed to ship his package exceeded his $3,370 USD budget. In addition there were, um, several flaws in his process. Perhaps the most major flaw would be the case he constructed to transmit the GPS signal. The GPS device would be protected in a heavy-duty case, but the problem was that it would block the GPS signal and render the equipment useless if the case was closed (which was for the duration of the journey). As Erik suggests, there is more that the artist needs to learn in to technologically participate in the new artistic field of GPS.

Many considered this project a failure and a hoax because the drawing was never completed. Erik addresses this issue with a disclaimer that his project is fictional. People fail to realize that Erik was not necessarily trying to make the biggest drawing in the world but to create an advertisement. After all, Erik’s project was for his degree in advertising and graphic design. Also DHL has seen a huge increase in press as a result of this project, which makes Erik’s work a big success. In this respect critics should open up their minds to great idea, whether it be acted on or not.

To see images of the drawing, the case Erik constructed to hold the GPS unit, and the detailed navigation instructions, visit Erik’s website. Erik also created a YouTube video on the making of the drawing:

One Response to ““The Biggest Drawing in The World””

  1. Jeremy Wood (http://www.gpsdrawing.com/jw.html) on the other hand, I believe, does draw the biggest drawings in the world!