The World’s Largest Drawing

I'm very late with this one, but I thought it was worth including on the front page. I'll defer to David B. who posted about it a few days ago in the forum:

A Swedish artist, Erik Nordenankar, recently made more that a few waves by claiming to have drawn the biggest picture in the world, a portrait of himself constructed of a single line 110 thousand km long.
Nordenanker said his amazing drawing had been sketched out, not in ink or paint, but by the movements of a special briefcase fitted with a GPS tracker. This case, he claimed, had been given to DHL along with a precise itinerary detailing the exact coordinates the package was to be taken to. Once it had completed its world-spanning round-trip, Nordenanker simply downloaded the route from the device’s memory and set about publicising his achievement.

Nordenankar now has a notice at the top of his website acknowledging the drawing was a hoax: "This is made as my graduation project in Advertising and Graphic Design at Beckmans College of Design. I think it's possible to realise the project for real, but due to my extremely limited budget (about 20 000 SEK = 3 370 USD) that was not possible. Therefore, I have realised the idea in a fictional way."

Some other links: An article in The Telegraph, Wired's article about the hoax, and Nordenankar's youtube video.

The question I have is, What is the world's largest drawing? I've found two possible candidates, after searching the Google News Archive:

1) In 1991 thousands of volunteers drew on an 800-pound, 7-mile-long-when-extended roll of paper. According to a July 11, 1991 article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the plan was to completely roll out the paper and take an aerial photo of it when it was done, but I can't find any articles indicating if it was ever completed.

2) According to a Feb 4, 1996 article in the LA Times: "In a project cooked up for the Los Angeles bicentennial, [the artist Tom Van Sant] and a crew set up mirrors in the shape of an eye across a 1 1/2-mile stretch of the Mojave Desert to overexpose sensors in a satellite passing overhead. The result was the world's largest drawing." But again, I can't find any pictures of Van Sant's drawing.


Posted on Thu May 29, 2008


Posted by Tim  on  Thu May 29, 2008  at  11:56 PM
I just don't see the sense. The wasted money...
Posted by Christopher John Bath  on  Fri May 30, 2008  at  06:41 AM
I believe Sol LeWitt had a go at creating the longest line ever drawn - he had people drawing along the pavement (sidewalk). It would have been around 1970. I'll see if I can find out more (but don't hold your breath - it wasn't his most significant work and may not be documented on any website).
Posted by Mr Henderson  on  Mon Jun 02, 2008  at  05:09 PM
It's sad to see Ethics get into the way of real creativity. I bet DHL would have done it for free just for the publicity!
Posted by Phoenix Graphic Design  on  Wed Jul 14, 2010  at  06:48 PM
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