marcus westbury

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World’s biggest public art project?

April 9th, 2008 by marcus

Just how big would the solar system be if you mapped it to scale on the surface of the earth?


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Click on the thumbtacks for planet names and sizes.

The map above was put together after a few too many drinks last new year’s eve. One discussion led to another and before we knew it several of us were half arsedly planning one of the largest guerrilla art projects ever conceived.

Well that’s more or less how i remember it but the memory is a little fuzzy.

The plan was to pile a bunch of us into a van for a long road trip and secretly build a scale model of the solar system across the vast expanse of central Australia. The road that stretches across the Nullarbor plain that connects the east and west coasts of Australia is almost certainly one the few places on earth you could even begin truly see the vastness of the solar system at scale.

The idea at the time was that several of us might do it anonymously but we were thwarted by the logistics of sobering up and realising we would need to build a 240m sun. Somehow.

I’m posting it on the off chance that someone out there might work out how to solve the logistical problems for us. How?

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7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 anya Apr 9, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    very good. ill ride in on halleys comet and miss the whole thing.

  • 2 rebecca c Apr 9, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    just chuck a telescope on the nullabor.

    either that or upgrade to the milky way… the sun shouldn’t be too much bigger than a shoe then.

  • 3 admin Apr 9, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    I think doing the Milky Way is a bit problematic. There would be a LOT of stops!

  • 4 praccus Apr 10, 2008 at 1:49 am

    Do you think we could get approval to paint roads as a notion of relative spatial distances, its for the nullabor road hogs u know. Colour coded and just build funny signs for the drivers. The terrain suits that sort of stunt I reckon. Would make a nice lil art project for prettying u the road too… and if you’d mapped the thing, then lots of lil installations could be grounded within each planets circumference (but seeable from the road of course) on the side of the road, involving whoever had the inspiration etc…. which reminds me of a recent sojourn through the hunter valley and seeing 2 long valleys full of various installations of scarecrows, from peeps fishing to animals drinking beer to rowboats etc…. all alongside the road for punters (drivers) to see….. well you get the idea x

  • 5 praccus Apr 10, 2008 at 2:02 am

    Actually you almost need it bigger, if traffic is to get it, but maybe not, it really depends on the signage beside the road.

  • 6 fancypants Apr 10, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    trackyback http://artabase.net/discussion/chat/22-space-art-ars-astronautica

  • 7 Ben Eltham Apr 14, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Marcus have you thought about trying to get this one up as a public-art companion to the Square Kilometer Array radio telescope project?