25 September 2008

Since we last spoke about monuments

Until 9 November, Stroom Den Haag in The Hague is holding an exhibition titled 'Since we last spoke about monuments', which is part of a programme called Nu Monument. As the exhibition's press release states, there are "fervent debates the world over about what to remember - where, how and to whose benefit -, public works commissioned, defaced or deplored, countless instances of symbolic abuse in public space evince the extent to which monuments are still with us today, as screens for projecting political or social emergencies, for enacting cultural memory."

Included in the exhibition is Sam Durant's Defaced Monuments project. Christopher Columbus seems to be a regular victim, including THIS plinth in Caracas that once held a Columbus statue. Last time we checked, the Columbus Monument in BARCELONA was still well.

Dead Seas

I noticed this massive earth work in the background of a music video and, with the help of the clip's maker, managed to locate it on the map. Looking like a koru expansion of Spiral Jetty and remarkably visible from a long way up, HERE are the pink ponds of the Dominion Salt Works at Lake Grassmere, also known as Kaparatehau (wind-blown lake) - some fantastic images here.

Even more impressive are the enormous salt ponds of the Dead Sea, which are well worth SCOUTING AROUND for strange shapes, structures and textures. Note the backbone formed by the Israel-Jordan border, which runs right up the middle of the sea, where you'll find this brilliant STATIC effect just before resolution cuts out.

Wikipedia tells us that the Dead Sea is only the second saltiest body of water on earth, after the CRATER LAKE of Assal, which boasts some impressive volcanic landscapes but none are yet visible at any useful proximity via by google's satellites. Frank Zappa fans may find the location familiar as potentially being the country from which his brilliantly titled Sheik Yerbouti album takes its name.

Image: Lake Grassmere salt farm, taken by Mike Harre

23 September 2008

Finding Nemo

If any regular readers still harbour doubts as to whether secret societies and individuals with enough resources have the power to influence the content on google maps, then THIS LINK is for you. A fantastic digital mosaic I've just chanced upon in the port of Amsterdam, just opposite Renzo Piano's fabulous ship-shaped NEMO museum. A large part of the abstracted area is occupied by historic ships in the Maritime Museum but presumably there is a particularly sensitive military presence here too?

18 September 2008

Into the future...

"The International Date Line is an awkward nineteenth century device conceived to manage the complexities of modern time, travel and global geography - it is the boundary line between 'today' and 'tomorrow'. Drawn through what was conveniently thought of as an 'empty' ocean, it is a haphazard broken line marked by cartographers on geographical and nautical charts. It is an intangible phenomenon, unbound by international law. The theoretical line is around 180 degrees from GREENWICH, formulated in 1884 as an agreement between commercial steamships of the principal maritime countries of the time. Shifts have occurred for practical reasons over the years, the most recent in 1995 to cluster all 33 small atolls in the nation of KIRIBATI into the same time zone.

"As early as the thirteenth century, mention was made of lost days in the region by the Syrian geographer-historian Abu 'I-Fida. In 1519 Antonio Pigafetta, the Italian chronicler of the first circumnavigation of the world by Ferdinand Magellan, mentioned a peculiar incident that occurred during the voyage whereby somewhere a whole day was apparently 'lost'. In Jules Verne's 'Around the World in 80 Days' 1873, Phileas Fogg learns that by moving eastwards he gains a day and thereby wins the prize. In Umberto Eco's 'The Island of the Day Before' 1994, the seventeenth century shipwrecked Italian protagonist reminiscences on his life and loves and becomes convinced that all his troubles will dissolve, if only he could cross the nearby Date Line."

Rhana Devenport, Date Line: Between Today and Tomorrow, in Date Line catalogue, 2007.

Why did the line cross the road...? Here is the PRIME MERIDIAN ARCH on the road to Barcelona, Spain.

Image: Looking like a cross between a Bill Culbert and a Gordon Matta Clark installation, this is the Greenwich observatory with its viewing aperture open for business.

17 September 2008


Here's a good one, sent in from a reader: A rare site-specific Donald Judd can be found HERE behind the Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide - thanks JD.

Apparently quite controversial at the time, Judd swaggered into town in cowboy boots in 1974 to design the work, which was completed in 1975 after he left, never returning to see the final result. If only there was access to online satellite photos then.

In 2004, AGSA commemorated 30 years of having this work in their permanent collection. More details on the work and other public sculpture in Adelaide can be found here.

16 September 2008

Watch this space

Collaborating with artists, writers, curators and institutions, the Remotewords project has been marking rooftops with text since December 2007. Beginning with "Start" at their HOME BASE in Cologne, they have since added three sites: FUHRWERKSWAAGE KUNSTRAUM, Cologne, the spectacularly located KUNST:RAUM SYLTQUELLE, Rantum, and they have just activated a new site on the roof of the EDITH RUSS SITE FOR MEDIA ART, Oldenburg (pictured).

At time of writing, all four are "offline" as they have yet to appear on google. As Remotewords says, "The project REMOTEWORDS is based on the idea of disseminating statements in various languages via Google Earth and other available virtual globes. The messages are applied to the roof of the respective institution with paint. The aim of this action is, via satellite system, to publicize the message after a time lag..."

"Google Earth goes to a great deal of trouble to update continually; because of the landmass and the amount of data, however, the time lag can last up to several years. Some recently completed edifices still appear on Google Earth as architectural shells, while buildings long since razed still seem to exist from the air. Google assures us that the image data are, on average, between one and three years old (Source: Google Earth website). The virtual globe systems suggest a present time that in reality is made up of time segments. This fact can, however, be put to artistic use. When news once appears on the virtual globe, it remains on the net for a long time whether it has, in the meantime, been uninstalled or 'censured' in real space."

3 September 2008

Free parking

A recent post on Cheryl Bernstein's blog reminded me that I had been admiring the turf at DODGERS STADIUM recently and had been planning to do an exploration of carparks. This ONE CAR, parked as far as possible from the stadium and nowhere near anything else, has me intrigued. And I love the layers of LINE WORK these images contain: palimpsest heaven HERE.

Photographed from a helicopter on a Sunday morning in 1967, along with 33 other LA parking lots, Ruscha lays bare the city's car-focussed infrastructure for his book Thirtyfour Parking Lots. As J G Ballard said, “Ruscha’s images are mementos of the human race taken back with them by visitors from another planet.” (quote and commentary found at the bottom of this page)

To make up for the lack of activity around here lately, for your viewing pleasure over the weekend, here are another 33 gathering places for cars, as found in the 'City of Angels': 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33

Images of Ruscha's original carparks, and their locations, can be found here. A prize to the first person to provide google links for all 30.

Image: Ed Ruscha, Parking Lots, 1967/99 (#291 LA Dodger Stadium), Gelatin silver print, 15 1/2 x 15 1/2 inches, Edition of 35. Appropriated from here.


Repeat visitors may have noticed a few changes around here. There's a bit of a spring clean going on.

Firstly, we've realised that, with all the contextual links, it isn't always easy to find the core material - the art from space. So from now on the main links will be in CAPS and all the tangental digressions and cross-referencing won't. And we'll get to work rolling that through older entries.

More noticable is our fabulous new masthead, and other visual tweaks, courtesy of Luke Munn who has generously offered his services to help us through the next few phases of developing this project - watch this space...


Art from Space is an exploration of art-related phenomena that manifests in interesting ways on Google’s aerial maps. It is also an experiment in curatorial practice; collecting, presenting and contextualising items in ways that users can explore, free of curator-imposed framing and sequencing. This blog is Art from Space’s developmental musings made public, where items are introduced to the project in real time, rather than awaiting the grand unveiling of a completed exhibition. Specific locations of interest are highlighted in CAPS and linked to a map for further exploration. Visit the mother ship HERE.