Nearest Costco, Monument or Satellite


2013-14
Dimensions variable (approx 4M x 5M)
Wood, metal, plastic, paper, custom electronics and software

Nearest Costco, Monument or Satellite is a networked sculpture that accurately points to the nearest Costco, monument or orbiting GPS satellite(s). As an artwork it explores how we form our sense of of place in the contemporary environment. In practice, fourteen networked pointer sculptures are directed by a central control unit to accurately point out the nearest Costco, local monument, or individual orbiting GPS satellites.

Drawing from ideas in psychogeography, locative technologies and the human sense of location, the work consists of networked electronic pointing devices built into individual flight cases. Each case contains the electronics required to control a pointer arrow held above the case by a telescoping antenna. At its literal base, the cases contain and represent the rational, networked, technologized information available on place and direction. From this base, the antennas extend this information up into a swaying field of poetic movements, governed by materiality more than information.

The algorithm of the work is structured so that the movement of the arrow in the air space above the cases creates a precise but poetic performance of the human sense of direction. Mirrored within these movements are familiar human actions: seeking, moving with certainty and uncertainty, the sense of being lost and of locating oneself in a larger landscape. It is a system that represents the dichotomy of the human sense of place.

Together, these components form a sculptural allegory for the ways in which we develop and manifest our sense of location.