Wednesday, May 28, 2008

fake art!

Artist Admits He Didn't Actually Use GPS, DHL to Create 'Biggest Drawing in the World'
By Dylan Tweney May 27, 2008 | 1:39:23 PMCategories: GPS

Swedish artist Erik Nordenenkar claims to have created the "biggest drawing in the world" by sending a GPS-equipped plastic briefcase on a squiggly, looping trip around the world, tracing out a 110,664-km (68,763-mile) unbroken line with the help of DHL delivery planes and trucks. The result: A self-portrait of the artist as a megalomaniacal god with a planet-sized Sharpie and a rather nice sense of line.

Problem is, the project is almost certainly faked, despite the footage showing the briefcase disappearing into the cargo hold of a DHL plane and a photo showing a stack of delivery receipts at the end. Why?

DHL does not deliver to arbitrary latitude-longitude destinations.
DHL is not likely to consider "trace a few looping lines through the Indian Ocean, without landing" as a valid delivery request, even with lat-long coordinates
You can't get a GPS signal inside the aluminum skin of an airliner
No GPS system, even with supplemental batteries, would have lasted the 55 days the artist says his project took
Details on the setup's "extended tracklog and battery time" are suspiciously absent.
So yeah, we're calling bullshit on this one. Nice picture, though.

UPDATE 5/27/2008: Yep, it's a fake. The artist has added a line to the bottom of his webpage stating "This is fictional work. DHL did not transport the GPS at any time." And DHL confirmed that Nordenenkar never went any further than a warehouse the company allowed him to film in.

Image above from the artist's website. Below, the artist's video.