0°00 Navigation – Part II

80 digital photographs in slide-show projection, 2015

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

For this body of work, a journey was undertaken across the landmasses of Europe and Africa traveling south along the 0º line of Latitude and heading in the direction of the exact centre of nowhere. The journey began on the north coast of France where the meridian line 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 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. As always the figure is facing south towards the ‘Zero Point’ of the planet where the 0º Greenwich Meridian crosses the 0º Equator in the middle of the Atlantic 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 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 upon this sphere) 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

 

Exhibition of 0ª00 Navigation was from February 6th – April 2nd, 2015 at ICIA Bath, UK.

Commissioned by ICIA, and supported by the Centre for Space, Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, University of Bath, and academics at SOAS, University of London and University of Central London.

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