Null Island Welcomes You

If you’ve tried to travel recently – i.e. escape the misery of disasters near and far – you know how complicated it is. More restrictions, more tests, more paperwork, more lines, more stress.

There, is, however, an imaginary faraway place that also happens to be one of the most visited destinations on earth.

Tinkerbell can’t guide you, though. Most of us arrive there through bad data: Just ask the thousands of Wisconsin voters, an avalanche of COVID cases and the millions of fat-fingered sat nav users who visit daily.

Smack at the coordinates zero degrees latitude and zero degrees longitude (0°N 0°E), Null Island was created by accident.

There’s a big difference between no information (null) and zero, as it turns out. Tell that to your phone, which, if it can’t figure out your coordinates, might interpret that as 0°,0° —  so the artful snap of Tuesday’s dinner will be forever a reminder of your visit to Null Island.

About 10 years ago, geographers ran with the glitch, incorporating Null Island into GIS systems, crafting flags, a website and a Twitter account.

While Google Maps these days drops a point at this location, it’s not all fantasy. About 300 miles south of Ghana, in this exact location floats a weather buoy called Soul.

We made a map and postcards from Null Island in homage to bad databases everywhere, and the fantasy of traveling unencumbered.
Which may just mean staying at home.

The works were created for the group exhibit “(No) Place Like Home” at the Sugar Street Gallery in Venice, Italy to celebrate the conclusion of the 2021  Architecture Biennale.

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