Project 929: Mapping the Solar


Session Title:

  • Location/Space (Papers)

Presentation Title:

  • Project 929: Mapping the Solar




  • For ISEA2014, DeLappe proposed to present documentation of ‘Project 929: Mapping the Solar’. In May of 2013, media artist Joseph DeLappe rode a customized bicycle, dragging pieces of chalk 460 miles in a 9‑day performance to physically and symbolically draw a line around the Nevada Test Site in Southern Nevada. Riding a long‑tail bicycle, which he reconfigured with an armature to hold handmade pieces of chalk, solar panels, video cameras, and a GPS unit, DeLappe delineated a geographical area equal to the measurement of a solar farm the Union of Concerned Scientists estimated would be ‘more than enough to meet the country’s entire energy demand,’ or 100 square miles. In this durational/endurance performance, DeLappe rode the bike approximately 50 miles per day for 9 days in the desert above Las Vegas, NV, dragging the chalk behind him on the road and encircling the federally confiscated lands that are the largest peacetime military base in the world: area of 928 nuclear tests; testing of the U‑2, stealth, and drone aircraft; and continued testing ground for bombs, training area for the US military, and site of weapon/technology and energy development. Conceptually, ‘Project 929: Mapping the Solar’ is an ideational and activist exercise towards representing another possible choice we could make as a nation, physically re‑imagining geographical space for energy sustainability. To map this desire – become a moving point, line of battle or communication, contour of an idea, measure or guide – was a driving principle. The   performance utilized mixed‑reality (Blue Mars Lite), GPS technology, and, where feasible, live streaming video for real‑time documentation. In collaboration with Manifest AR, selected photographs are currently being incorporated.