GPS Drawing [Gallery] [Maps] [Info]

Boris Nieslony & Nothingness
02/09/2012 26443 sq m 10:38:27 N50.86718 E4.34821– 11:16:56 N50.86802 E4.34779

Boris participated in a GPS drawing workshop of mine during the Sideways festival in Brussels. He created a walk that was not at all concerned with a pictorial approach or with what the screen of the GPS receiver was showing him. He just looked at the ground and let that led him. When I asked him what he was looking for he said he wasn't looking for anything in particular but to just empty his head of thoughts. I then asked what he found and he said he had found nothing.

Boris Nieslony & Nothing
38 minutes and twenty seven seconds beginning from the south

The open space of the Tour & Taxis in Brussels was a perfect canvas for setting free a walk. The drawing begins with a slightly curved line to a moment. It's a walk that crosses open ground and moves away from people and place. To a place that must have felt right, like preparing a pencil or loading a paintbrush before finding a point to touch a surface. He was looking for nothing and was being guided by nothingness. Never have I seen such a deep and convincing attempt at following a path of the body.

The GPS drawing that came of it was beautiful. It has a mindless intricacy of line that traces an evacuation of thoughts. Upon closer analysis of the track there is a moment when a pattern emerges which is that of an expanding meander. I asked what was happening during this apparent methodical mark making and he replied that his body lead him along a wandering wave. When he realised that there was conscious footfall he immediately stopped and took a different course to continue a path of thought-free footfall.

Boris Nieslony Boris Nieslony

He had to stop at some stage so I asked him how did he know when? He has a good sense of time he replied and the moment he looked at his watch it was time to go back and meet the group. I checked the GPS data to see how his sense of time correlated to the precisely timed signals sent from the atomic clocks onboard the satellites. We had about 50 minutes of drawing and his squiggles finish 1 minute and 15 seconds before the session ended. He then walked straight back to the meeting place on a path of awakening like a sleepy arrival to a morning that gradually emerges from a lingering dream.

Boris Nieslony

I met Boris Neislony in Belgium during the Sideways festival where we were both invited to contribute. As a symbol of communication he undertook a two hour performance lying on his back with a sycamore branch standing in his mouth and the following day he walked away from the city carrying a table on his back. I conducted a couple of public GPS workshops and walked for four hours in a spiral for A Death of a Walk.

Boris Nieslony Boris Nieslony