0º00 Navigation Part II: A Journey Across Europe and Africa

80 digital photographs in slide-show projection, 2015

0º00 Navigation Part II: A Journey Across Europe and Africa is the second of two epic and quixotic journeys tracing 0° line of longitude across the planet.

For this body of work, a journey was made crossing the landmasses of Europe and Africa – traveling south along the Greenwich. Part II of the journey began on the north coast of France where the meridian emerges from the sea. In 80 photographs, a black-clad figure is pictured with his back to the camera standing exactly on the 0º00 line of longitude. In each slide this figure occupies the exact centre of the image but as the slideshow progresses the landscape behind him slowly changes from the temperate fields of France, to the dry plains of Spain, to the Saharan desert of Algeria, to the bush of Burkina Faso and Togo and finally the lush vegetation and cities of Ghana. The slide-show ends with the figure standing in the waters of the Atlantic on the Ghanaian coast where the line disappears into the ocean.

The placing of the prime meridian is an utterly arbitrary act, its location in Greenwich in East London being one of the lasting legacies of the former naval power of the British Empire. The line is used as a datum point for the planet (a ‘0’ for the systems that measure space and time) and yet in any physical sense, it does not exist. 0º00 Navigation explores some of the paradoxes and absurdities of this hypothetical line and the strange geopolitics that occur when reality collides with this abstraction.

The journey began in summer 2014 and concluded in March 2015.

A stream of diary entries entitled Notes from Nowhere, record the details and encounters made along this zero line.

Impressions of the journey were also transmitted live to the world as a series of drawings.

#1106 Moped Boys of Ouagadougou