detail of New Forest area
gps 1999 mixed media installation to map
Artwork, image and photography copyright © Perdita Phillips inimitable
Room 6 m x 5 x 3 m high postcards 10 cm x 15 cm 1689 postcards $3300.00
1689 postcards
Exhibition: Degree Show 1999 MA Fine Art 1999 Goldsmiths College, University of London, London
postcards, found objects, network, tourist gaze, Englishness


GPS was built from 1689 postcards of landscapes and outdoor scenes. The viewer approached the cards through a narrow corridor and a series of vistas unfolded around the walls of the installation space. At some point in this passage it became evident that the postcards were arranged in a map of the world. The mosaic of each region that was passed, catalogued how a country sees itself, and what is told to visitors.

There was distortion — Suffolk is dwarfed by the Norfolk Broads — produced by the uneven distribution of postcard-providing places, but there was an overall feeling of meticulous order. There was a certain emotional response to many of these views that came from the past eras presented. The work laid out patterns for us to think about how we order the world, about insides and outsides, and about the point where systems of classification collapse.