|Distance (N) from Greenwich|
|OS map details||OS Explorer: 161 or 162|
|OS grid ref||TQ 38802.80128|
|WGS84 lat/long||51.503050, -0.001566|
|Type||Sculpture | Sign on post(s)|
|Marking date||May 2015|
Conceived in 2011 by Jon Thompson and Alison Craighead as a virtual image for The Mini Museum of XXI Century Arts, an online digital media platform, the work is titled Here. This physical version was created in 2013. According to the sign accompanying it, ‘the concept was to mark the distance of the work from itself along a North/South axis’. The distance shown on the sign, 24,859 miles, is the average polar circumference of the Earth.
The physical sign, like the virtual image, could in theory be placed anywhere on the Earth’s surface, but for the conceit to work, it is essential for the sign to be correctly aligned in a north/south direction. Even then, the conceit begins to crumble, for although the Earth’s average polar circumference is 24,859 miles, the actual polar circumference would depend on the longitude of the work’s location.
A more significant problem, however, is that at most locations on the Earth, the distance ‘of the work from itself’ will be less if the direction of orientation deviates to the east or west. At the latitude of Greenwich, where the artwork is currently located, if it were to point in an easterly or westerly direction, the distance of the work from itself would be only about 15,500 miles. A pity then that more care wasn’t taken during the work’s installation. Rather than pointing due north or due south, the artwork was set up pointing some 18º to the west of north!
In the middle of August 2015, a section of the Thames Path where the artwork is located was temporarily fenced off in connection with works for the nearby InterContinental Hotel. It was probably then that the sign was reoriented to its 3 October 2015 position. On that date it was found to be pointing parallel to the Thames Path in a direction roughly 24º to the east of north … and also slightly upwards. Given the proximity of the sign to the temporary fencing, it seems likely that it was wrenched around so that the fencing could be erected without the sign getting in the way. Following the paths reinstatement, the sign was realigned to something approaching its original position (December 2015 image set). In early 2016, the western half or the sign was removed (stolen?). By 2017, a replacement had been fitted. When visited that March, the newly fitted western side of the sign sat slightly higher on the post than the eastern half. The sign had also been realigned.