For GPS Expo 2006 at Center for Land Use Interpretation
(July 24th-29th, 2K6, Wendover, Tooele County, Bonneville Salt Flats, UT.)
Paula Poole and Brett Stalbaum
CLUI for support of GPS Expo at CLUI Wendover 2006
UCIRA for support of GPS Expo at CLUI Wendover 2006
UCSD Department of Visual Arts for support of GPS Expo at CLUI Wendover 2006
We arrived at abstraction with the help of the Bonneville Salt Flats, truly one of the
most abstract places on the face of the Earth. To understand this project, a look at its
predecessor is useful for context.
Remote Location 1:100,000 (2004)
In Remote Location 1:100,000 (2004), Brett and Paula
lived at the CLUI Remote Location (about 40 miles to the north of Wendover) for 5 days.
Using GPS to hike a six kilometer grid, Brett collected data and soil samples. Paula worked
the soil samples into a 6x6 array of paintings, which were displayed next to a 6x6 array of
mapping images produced from digital elevation model data, and pictures of the soil condition
where the photos were taken. The three representations of the topographical and geological
characteristics of the landscape invited further analysis of the ontology of the landscape
with the goal of encouraging others to visit the Remote Location to work or just think about it.
For Salt Flat 1:100,000 we took a perfectly flat area of the Bonneville Salt Flats as the
input data. Unlike the Remote Location, the salt flats are perfectly flat, and the soil samples and
soil conditions are perfectly monotonous and mostly consisting of pure white sodium chloride.
Nevertheless, the same process was implemented as in Remote Location 1:100,000.
Over 4 days, Brett walked the salt flats, guided by
GPS to the center of each one kilometer area in the 6x6 grid.
Statistical representation of the Bonneville Salt Flats terrain produced with the C5
Landscape Database. (C5UTM 2.1) The software happens to use pink to represent the lowest elevation
in an area. Because the salt flats are flat, there is only one elevation, producing a
flat data representation. "Salt Flat".
C5UTM 2.1 image showing the GPS track logs from Brett's GPS rendered on top of the waypoints
for the 6x6 kilometer grid overlaid on a map of the area. (See Data).
The blue (modal) area encompases both salt flats and mud flats. The hikes over four days added up to 62
Upon arrival at each site, a one centimeter version of the map was implemented in
the landscape itself, creating a 1:100,000 scale between the map in the landscape and
the landscape itself.
1x1cm site-specific data visualization left on the salt at each of 36 sites representing each
area visited, at 1:100,000 scale.
The salt sample taken at each site was returned to the studio for Paula
to convert into information.
Paula at work in the studio
In the exhibit at the Center for Land Use Interpretation exhibit hall, Wendover Utah:
A 6x6 geo-referenced array of 8"x8" paintings made with the landscape itself (painted by Paula Poole),
directly on masonite.
A 6x6 geo-referenced array of 8"x8" digital prints representing the landscape
(produced using the C5 Landscape Database and USGS DEM data), are mounted on masonite
beside the salt paintings.
A 6x6 geo-referenced array of framed 8"x10" digital prints representing the one centimeter
squares and the color of the soil (taken from documentary photographs) in which the one
centimeter squares are actually situated.
- The Center for Land Use Interpretation for support of GPS Expo at CLUI Wendover 2006 (http://www.clui.org)
- University of California Institute for Research in the Arts (http://www.ucira.ucsb.edu/) for support of GPS Expo at CLUI Wendover 2006
- University of California San Diego Department of Visual Arts for support of GPS Expo at CLUI Wendover 2006
- C5 (http:c5corp.com)
- The United States Geological Survey
- John C. Fremont
- Devin and Juanita Dawn and all the little cat sitters
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