GeoCarta Has Moved

Nov 24, 2007

Artist's Project Makes Invisible Grid, Visible

Artist Perri Lynch became intrigued about an invisible control grid over the land known as real-time networks. The way surveying and geodesy use linear and algebraic terms to give precise definition to that which defies definition: land and landscapes became a source of inspiration.

As the American Surveyor reports:

Perri first came to the attention of the surveying community from her work "Precisely Known Completely Lost," a photographic and sound series. She matched images of survey monuments (from the point of view most familiar to us, looking straight down) with a perfectly skyward image from the same monument. Audio from each site collected at the time of photography was played in loops exhibition.

In the exhibit materials for "Precisely Known Completely Lost," Perri notes, "Sense of place does not exist in the physical world. It is not universal and it is not permanent." Part of her attraction to survey monuments is that they are a manifestation of this human desire for sense of place, and a renewed appreciation for the practical value of such amenities.

Ms. Lynch's latest project is a series of black limestone pillars, set parallel to and along an entire kilometer-long National Geodetic Survey (NGS) baseline. The first and last stone are coincident with the NGS monuments; the rest of the six-foot high stones are placed in a progression of doubling distance at each subsequent stone. One side is rough, the other smooth to the contrast the regular and irregular or natural. Holes are drilled at eye-height (and at child and ADA height) aligned perfectly with holes in each subsequent stone, thereby giving the observer the perspective of a surveyor.

Ms. Lynch told American Surveyor that she sought to "amplify the obscure," as well as to "help folks connect to the specialness of subtle things and provide a new perspective on a familiar scene."

Labels: ,