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

80 digital photographs in slide-show projection, 2015

0º00 Navigation Part II is the second of two epic and quixotic journeys tracing the 0° line of longitude (the Greenwich Meridian) across the planet.

The journey started on the north coast of France where the 0º line emerges out of the English Channel, and then headed due south – ultimately crossing the landmasses of Europe and Africa.

Documented in 80 still photographs, a black-clad figure is pictured with his back to the camera always 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 to the lush vegetation and cities of Ghana. Four blank slides represent the country of Mali that remained unreachable due to the war. The slide-show ends with the figure standing in the waters of the Atlantic on the Ghanaian coast where the line disappears back into the ocean. The placing of the 0º Prime Meridian is an utterly arbitrary act. The locating of this line in London, England is one of the lasting legacies of the former naval power of the British Empire. This line is used as a datum point for the whole planet (a ‘0’ for the systems that measure space and time), and yet in any physical sense, it does not exist. 0º00 Navigation part II explores some of the paradoxes and absurdities of this hypothetical line, and the strange geopolitics that occur when reality collides with this abstraction.

Impressions of this journey were also transmitted live to the world as a series of drawings – now titled: Drawings from 0º. The journey began in summer 2014 on the North coast of France in the small town of Villers sur Meer (near Le Havre) and concluded in March 2015 on the Atlantic coast on the outskirts of Accra.