53°30′
 

A collec­tion of five topo­graphic models of moun­tain-land­scapes from different parts of the world, which are on the same lati­tude as the city of Edmonton in Canada.
They are made of stain­less-steel, each 7 x 7 m and different heights and are mounted upright on the facing sides of the lanterns on the roof of the new North East Transit Garage building in Edmonton, Alberta. The corre­sponding longi­tu­dinal coor­di­nates are written on the sides of the lanterns.
The terrain-models in the scale of ca. 1:1.000 depict loca­tions in five geographic areas: Mount Chown (Alberta), the crater of Mount Okmok (Umnak Island in the Aleu­tians), Zhupanovsky Crater (Kamchatka, Russia), an unnamed land­scape near Dacao­di­anzi, Heilongjiang Sheng (China) and Mweelrea (Connaught, Ireland).

By strictly following the path of a lati­tude in a west­erly direc­tion I refer not only to the popular game of spin­ning a globe—or these days a digital on-screen earth—and waiting excit­edly to see which loca­tion the finger or cursor will point to when the globe stops. At the same time, I draw a histor­ical parallel to the great seafarers and trav­ellers of previous centuries, who preferred to follow a lati­tude to go west.
But people trav­elled along the lati­tudes not only because of their desire to under­stand the earth better, but also because it held the promise of discov­ering hith­erto unknown para­disi­acal lands which nonethe­less were thought to exist. This move west­ward has left its traces in this vast land­scape.
So the array of topogra­phies from this line tells of a journey along the 53th parallel around the world. 53°30’ gives the geographic lati­tude that creates a ficti­tious line to the largely unknown places whose longi­tu­dinal coor­di­nates are written on the sides of the lanterns.

Client: City of Edmonton, Edmonton Arts Council.
Planned comple­tion 2020.
Fotos: Thorsten Gold­berg